|Manny Pacquiao. Photo by Reuters
MANILA – Manny Pacquiao can not use Robert Jaworski’s case as a precedent in entering the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) undrafted, according to a veteran sports analyst.
“Ang batas ng PBA na ginawa noong 1975 pa is that, sa salita ni Commissioner Chito Salud, all rookies must have passed through the draft system,” Al Mendoza explained on Ted Failon’s DZMM program “Failon Ngayon” on Tuesday.
“Si Manny Pacquiao ay considered na rookie pagpumasok sa PBA. ‘Pag coach walang ganun, okay kaagad 'pag coach ka. Pero kung maglalaro ka, dadaan ka pa rin sa rookie draft system ika nga.”
Mendoza said Jaworski’s case as a playing coach was an exception since the “Big J” underwent the 1975 PBA Rookie Draft where he was selected by the legendary PBA team Toyota.
Jaworski later moved to Gilbey’s Gin as a playing coach when Toyota disbanded in 1983.
“Maaalalang naging coach siya noon sa Gilbey's Gin, ang unang pangalan ng Ginebra noon. Nung nag-disband 'yung Toyota, kinuha siya ng Gilbey's Gin bilang player coach,” he said. “Ngayon, dahil sa player na siya hindi na siya dumaan sa rookie draft.”
Pacquiao earlier confirmed that he has already reached an agreement with PBA expansion team KIA Motor to be their playing coach.
The 35-year-old boxer-lawmaker added that they are studying the PBA ruling regarding player coaches getting exempted from the rookie draft.
“'Yung rules naman daw nila, pag playing-coach pwedeng lumaro sa team. So 'yun ang aming pinag-aaralan ngayon,” he said.
Mendoza acknowledged that KIA Motors has a valid concern about Pacquiao going through the draft process as this might make the sports superstar available to other PBA teams.
However, he believes that the team can reach a "gentleman’s agreement" with other PBA clubs regarding Pacquiao’s affiliation with KIA.
“Mga gentleman naman ang mga siyam na koponan ng PBA, gentleman naman ang mga may ari nyan eh,” Mendoza said.