San Beda team manager explains why
MANILA, Philippines – Joining the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) would be a bad move for the country’s most popular sportsman.
Jude Roque, team manager of NCAA champions San Beda Red Lions, said such move will only subject the league and even Manny Pacquiao to ridicule.
"Pursuing a career in the PBA will make a mockery of the league, of the sport of basketball, and especially of Manny Pacquiao himself," Roque said in his Yahoo! Sports blog Sharp Shooter. "Our national hero deserves better than being the subject of ridicule and lampoon by the entire sporting world."
Roque said assuming that PBA allows KIA Motors to directly hire Pacquiao as their playing coach, the boxer will still have to address several issues, mainly his skills, the chances of getting injured and his coaching experience.
He said that as a player, Pacquiao’s skill-set will be put to the test against taller and younger PBA professionals. And at 5’6 ½”, the diminutive boxer will have a hard time getting past his defenders.
"I have no doubt that he can average 20 points in a pick-up or inter-town game. He is fast and certainly has the stamina that would outlast any PBA player… But come on. In an actual PBA game, he won’t be treated like an icon or legend. He will be treated like a PBA player," said Roque.
"Second, what if he gets injured? Basketball is an injury-prone sport, maybe even more than boxing... In basketball, players often don’t see these injuries coming. Should the Pambansang Kamao risk his incomparable boxing career to a basketball injury?," he added.
With regards to coaching, Roque said Pacquiao’s experience as MP Warriors’ player-mentor in the defunct Liga Pilipinas might not be enough.
Aside from being an assistant coach for Gilas Pilipinas I, Roque served as the head coach of the Taguig team that competed in Liga Pilipinas. He said that competition is very much different in the PBA.
"The two leagues (Liga Pilipinas and PBA) are far apart in terms of competition. I should know. I was once a head coach in Liga Pilipinas and before that, an assistant coach in the PBA," he said.
"Liga Pilipinas was a very competitive league with talented players and coaches. But the PBA is obviously at a different level."
Roque said the fighting congressman should instead put focus on boxing, where he obviously excels. He feels that it would be a pity if the People’s Champion ends up being the butt of jokes if his PBA career doesn't turn out well.
"I am a huge Pacquiao fan. I hardly missed any of his fights. It is because of this admiration that I wish that Manny would just stick to conquering even greater heights in boxing," said Roque.