Manny Pacquiao stunned by Kobe Bryant's death: 'Ang bilis ng nangyari'

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Manny Pacquiao stunned by Kobe Bryant's death: 'Ang bilis ng nangyari'
Condolences were exchanged from one all-time great to another on Monday morning.
Twitter / Manny Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines — "Friend" was the word Manny Pacquiao used to describe Kobe Bryant as condolences were exchanged from one all-time great to another.

The world lost one of its most celebrated athletes on Monday morning after the Black Mamba was involved in a stunning helicopter crash that resulted in his untimely death and that of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. And for many athletes shaped and inspired by Bryant's heroics both on and off the hardcourt, losing Bryant meant losing one of their own. 

For Pacquiao, this was no different. 

"Nabigla ako. I'm surprised by the news," the boxer-turned-senator told ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo when asked about the 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers legend's death. 

"Ang bilis ng nangyari (Everything happened so fast)."

Pacquiao, who is also 41 years old, earlier took to Twitter to express sympathy for the basketball legend. 

Pacquiao and Bryant met when the former was selected as the flag-bearer for the Philippine delegation at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where a Bryant-led men's basketball team notched a gold finish for the United States. 

Bryant also dropped by the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood to watch Pacquiao train in 2011.

“I wasn’t even sure how many punches he was throwing, I just heard them,” Bryant previously told Sports Illustrated of Pacquiao. 

"He's my friend," Pacquiao said. 

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