Eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao was tapped to be the head coach of expansion team KIA Motors in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) -- the oldest professional basketball league in Asia.
Manny Pacquiao is now a professional basketball head coach.
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Yahoo! Sports Philippines' Carlo Pamintuan reported on June 9 that Pacquiao will coach expansion team KIA Motors in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) -- the oldest professional basketball league in Asia:
"Manny Pacquiao is now officially a member of the PBA family. After months of speculation, the eight-division boxing world champion took on the role of head coach for Team KIA, one of the three possible expansion teams in the upcoming 40th season of the PBA.
"Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez of Palawan who also serves as the Chairman of Columbian Autocar Corporation appointed Pacquiao as Team KIA's head coach during the press conference held at the Pacific Star Building in Makati.
"'I'd like to thank members of Team KIA,' Pacquiao said in Filipino. 'I'm very happy that I was selected as the head coach. I need to prove that I can also show my skills in basketball and not just in boxing, especially because I'm head coach of the team.
"'Be on the lookout for what's next. Although it will be KIA's first time to enter the PBA, I promise that we won't let you down.'
"During the press conference, Pacquiao explained that the main reason for his entrance to the PBA is his love for basketball.
"'Before boxing, I already loved basketball,' said Pacquiao. 'When I signed my first boxing contract, I really thought it was a basketball contract. That's how I got into boxing,' he joked.
"Pacquiao will now add PBA head coach to his list of responsibilities alongside being a congressman and the reigning WBO welterweight champion.
"'Time management and self-discipline are the keys for me to handle everything,' said the multitasker when asked how he'll juggle all of it.
"Pacquiao also answered questions regarding his desire to be a playing coach with Team KIA.
"'As of now, I'm the head coach. I'm still not decided if I'd play in the PBA. My focus is to get good players and create a good team,' he said. 'Basketball is also a game of strategies so I think I'll be able to use my experience as a boxer especially in training. I just hope all my players are ready for the training we will have.'"
PBA commissioner Chito Salud spoke about Pacquiao's entrance into the league, per The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
"These past few weeks there have been so many comments, so many concerns regarding Manny's possibility of joining the PBA and many of these concerns, have been expressed in my mind to protect the interest genuinely of our national treasure Manny Pacquiao.
"But I think what we're missing here is what does Manny really bring to the table in so far as the PBA is concerned? Of course there's the wow factor, there's the point of interest, pulling power of Manny Pacquiao.
"But I want to emphasize that Manny is the embodiment of what the PBA is striving to stand for. And what is that? Highest degree of excellence and sportsmanship with regard to fan and public interest."
For his part, CalvinAyre.com's Kirby Garlitos weighed in on Pacquiao's latest venture:
"Manny Pacquiao isn't just the head coach of Kia's future PBA team. He also plans to play. As a 5'6", 35-year-old rookie with a southpaw fling for a jump shot.
"The sheer absurdity of all this has a circus-like feel to it, the kind that you know usually doesn't end too well for the act. This isn't boxing, Manny. This isn't your platform. You're the circus clown being paraded in front of everybody because you have the name and recognition to pull in casual basketball fans. Not a good look, Manny.
"Juggling boxing and politics is hard enough on its own, but tackling another responsibility that requires 24/7 attention on top of what he already has on his plate is asking for trouble. Hell, we don't even know if he can coach, other than his stint as owner/coach/star player of the MP GenSan Warriors that played in the now defunct Liga Pilipinas.
"But in the end, none of this bloating will change the surreal fact that Manny Pacquiao, he of the eight-division champion in boxing and incumbent cogressman in the Philippines, is now a head coach in Asia's oldest professional basketball league."
Pacquiao currently has a boxing record of 56-5-2 with 38 knockouts. He was proclaimed as a congressman in the Philippines' Sarangani province in the island of Mindanao on May 13, 2010.
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