Manny picks Azure as training site

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 29 2014 01:15 PM | Updated as of Jul 29 2014 09:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao has found a place to train for his next fight and one that will house the entire Kia Motors basketball team as it gears up for the 2014 PBA season.

It’s all under one roof.

According to Kia Motors team manager Eric Pineda, the eight-division boxing champion has chosen Azure, a swanky six-hectare beach resort condominium project in Bicutan.

Pineda said Columbian Autocar Corp., the sole distributor of Kia vehicles in the country, has stakes at Azure, which is opening its new doors to Pacquiao.

Pineda said CAC is turning the existing basketball court at Azure into a covered and air-conditioned venue for the Kia team to practice.

“They’re also adding the needed amenities like a shower room fit for an entire team, a viewing room, a lounge, an office and an exercise room,” said Pineda.

The members of the Kia basketball team will be housed at Azure, each one of them to be allotted a condominium unit for their use.

“That way they can’t be late for practice. Azure will be the official headquarters of our PBA team,” said Pineda.

Tryouts are ongoing for the PBA team and while there are just a handful names to be chosen, no one has signed a contract with the team – perhaps except for Pacquiao.

“We haven’t signed anybody yet,” said Pineda.

The reigning WBO welterweight champion will serve as playing-coach for Kia Motors in the PBA, which opens its 40th season on Oct. 18.

Pacquiao has a fight against undefeated Chris Algieri scheduled Nov. 23 at The Venetian Hotel in Macau, and has decided to do everything under one roof.

Pineda said a boxing gym is being put up at Azure and will be finished just in time for the start of training camp in September.

Freddie Roach is coming over to supervise Pacquiao’s training.

“He will also stay at Azure. We’ll have a unit ready for Freddie,” Pineda added.