Newly appointed KIA head coach Manny Pacquiao answers questions from the media during a press conference in Makati. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – Boxing superstar and incoming KIA Motors coach Manny Pacquiao has formalized his plan to join the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft.
His business manager, Eric Pineda, who also serves as KIA Motors team manager announced after Friday’s dispersal draft between KIA and Blackwater Sports that Pacquiao has submitted his draft application.
PBA Commissioner Chito Salud welcomed the boxer’s decision to undergo the draft procedure. Pacquiao initially wanted to dodge the proceedings by announcing his plans to become a player-coach for KIA Motors.
“We welcome the involvement of Congressman Manny Pacquiao with Team KIA as a coach and we welcome his draft application,” Salud said in Carlo Pamintuan’s report to Yahoo! Sports.
“As he previously committed, he will go through the normal, regular procedure.”
Pineda said in a previous report that he was merely waiting for Pacquiao’s go-signal before submitting the boxer’s application papers to the PBA.
“Hawak ko na yung papeles niya. Magpapa-draft na siya. Sasali na siya sa draft,” Pineda said. “Oras na sabihin na niyang ipapasa ko ito, dadalhin ko na.”
Pacquiao was supposed to attend Friday’s dispersal draft, but had to skip what was supposed to be his first exercise as KIA coach because his wife Jinkee fell ill.
“Hindi makaka-attend si Manny. Kailangan niya kasi bantayan misisi niya, may sakit daw,” Marcial told Solar Sports’ Snow Badua.
“Hindi sinabi kung ano ang sakit ni Jinkee pero mukhang nabinat daw.”