Pacquiao invited to play ball with NBA stars

By Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Jul 22 2014 11:32 AM | Updated as of Jul 23 2014 05:54 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, who is now trying his hand at professional basketball, has been invited to test his skills against a group of NBA stars who are visiting the country for a charity event.

Pacquiao, the coach of expansion team KIA Motors who has also entered the PBA Rookie Draft, was invited by Coach John Lucas to attend "The Last Home Stand," a charity event featuring a dozen NBA stars and the players of the Philippine national basketball team.

"We'd like for him to come out and take on some of the guys," Lucas said in a press conference Monday when asked for his opinion about Pacquiao's decision to take his talents to the hardcourt. "Let him get a first-hand look at it."

"We won't box him, but he can come out and play basketball with us. We'd like that a lot," he added.

One of the NBA stars in attendance, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors, jokingly said he will beat Pacquiao one-on-one.

"He ain't got a chance against me," Lowry said, saying he will simply take Pacquiao to the post and "shoot over him."

Aside from Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Damian Lillard, Brandon Jennings, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard were also present at Monday's press conference.

They will be joined by other NBA stars Tuesday for the first of a pair of exhibition games against Gilas Pilipinas.

Pacquiao memorably attended a similarly star-studded NBA event during the lockout in 2011, when several NBA stars including Kobe Bryant played two All-Star games against a PBA selection and the national team.