|Photo Credit: Twitter / ANC / Dyan Castillejo|
Manny Pacquio, a world boxing champion, a politician, a singer, an actor, a preacher, and now, a basketball coach or maybe a playing-coach.
In a press conference on Monday, June 9, Pacquiao was officially introduced as the head coach of the KIA Motors, one of the three expansion teams that will join the 40th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
In response, the Congressman from Sarangani thanked the members of Team KIA for selecting him as their head coach.
During the press conference, Pacquiao explained that he really loves basketball and he wants to prove that he can also show his skills in basketball, the most popular sport of the Philippines.
“I need to prove that I can also show my skills in basketball and not just in boxing, specially because I’m the head coach of the team,” said Manny, the eight division boxing world champion.
“Before boxing, I already loved basketball,” said Pacquiao. “When I signed my first boxing contract, I really though it was a basketball contract. That’s how I got into boxing,” Pacquiao joked.
On the matter of being to play basketball in the PBA, Pacquiao, the new WBO welterweight champion, said he is open to the possibility of being a playing-coach, but for now his focus is in coaching.
"Yung paglalaro, hindi ko pa alam yan. Ang focus ko ngayon ay yung pagko-coach." - MP
— pbaconnect (@pbaconnect) June 9, 2014
“'Yung paglalaro, hindi ko pa alam ‘yan,” Pacquiao uttered in the press conference, as quoted by the official PBA Twitter account. “Ang focus ko ngayon ay ‘yung pagko-coach.”
According to sportscaster Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News, as a new team in the PBA, Pacquiao wants to have a “fast, strong, and disciplined team” that will be defense-oriented, a team that can stop opponent’s offense by playing good defense.
“The focus for our team will be to stop the scoring by playing good defense. I’m not saying that we will not be able to get good players but whoever we get, we’ll make it a point to make them better with our training which will be a mix of basketball training, boxing training, and plyometrics,” Pacquiao said.
“I want the team to play a fast-paced game but it all depends on our opponents,” Pacquiao added. “I need to get my players ready specially with their stamina. My priority are the fans the performance of Team KIA.”
Pacquiao has experienced in running a basketball team as he played and coached his formerly owned team, the MP GenSan Warriors, which saw action in the Liga Pilipinas and different commercial leagues from 2005 to 2012.
Pacquiao will now add coaching to his list of responsibilities alongside being a Representative in the Congress, professional boxer who schedule to have at least two fights every year, a married man and a father of five children.
Asked how he will be able to do his duties and responsibilities, “time management and self-discipline are the keys for me to handle everything,” the Kibawe, Bukidnon-born multitasker said.
Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley in their rematch bout last April in Las Vegas. He is currently scheduled to fight in November, maybe against Juan Manuel Marquez for the fifth time or Miguel Cotto from Puerto Rico for the second time, according to International Business Times report.