MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) maintains WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao will have to go through the Rookie Draft if he wants to play in the league.
Pacquiao confirmed to ABS-CBN News yesterday he will be joining PBA expansion team KIA Motors as “playing coach.”
“All rookie hopefuls have to apply for the draft. Once included in the final list of draft applications, they go through the draft exercise," said PBA operations chief Rickie Santos in an interview with the Philippine Star's Nelson Beltran.
Santos said this will give all PBA teams a shot of acquiring the boxing superstar.
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial told the Philippine Star the league’s board of governors did not grant direct hire concession to any of the three expansion teams.
The expansion teams joining the league this October are KIA Motors, NLEX and Blackwater Sports.
"Hindi siya pwedeng diretso agad sa KIA, unless the board later on decides to give KIA a special concession,” said Marcial.
Pacquiao said he had already reached an agreement with KIA Motors to be the team's playing coach.
"[I'll be] playing coach," he told ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo.
Pacquiao said in Spin.ph they are verifying the rule that exempts a player from the draft if he joins the team as playing coach.
“'Yung rules naman daw nila, pag playing-coach pwedeng lumaro sa team. So 'yun ang aming pinag-aaralan ngayon,” he said.
The 2014 PBA Rookie Draft is set to take place on August 24.