MANILA – Manny Pacquiao the boxer, the congressman, the pastor and now the basketball coach. How on earth can he handle all those responsibilities?
“Time management at disiplina sa sarili. Kaya nating i-handle lahat 'yan,” was the eight-division boxing champion’s reply when he was formally announced as KIA Motors’ head coach last Monday.
Pacquiao has repeatedly been questioned about his lack of focus on boxing due to his numerous commitments and responsibilities as Sarangani province’s representative to the House of Representatives.
This issue will again be put on the spotlight when Pacquiao starts calling the shots for KIA Motors in the PBA's 40th season in October, as officially announced in a press conference attended by PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, Columbian Autocar Corporation President Ginia Domingo, and KIA Motors chairman and Palawan Gov. Jose Chavez Alvarez.
“Ako po’y masayang masaya na kinuha ako na head coach ng KIA. Malaking responsibilidad ito at kailangang patunayan ko na kaya ko ring magpakita ng gilas as coach ng team,” said Pacquiao, who is lined up to fight a still unnamed opponent in Macau on November 23.
The Filipino sports icon said basketball was his first love before entering the world of boxing.
“Gusto ko na yung basketball before ako nag-boxing,” he said.
He even joked that when he signed a contract the first time, he thought it was for a basketball game. “Nung una akong pumirma akong kontrata, hindi pala basketball, boxing pala,” Pacquiao said in jest.
Pacquiao said that as team coach, he wants defense-oriented players to make up the KIA team roster.
“Focused ako na kumuha ng magaling na players at mag-organize ng magaling na team,” he said. “Focus namin sa team na ‘to is to stop the scoring, yung defense ang dapat paigtingin.” – Reports from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News, and PBA.ph