Basketball

Amid criticism, Manny Pacquiao insists: ‘I can coach, play for Kia in PBA’

InterAksyon.com/Mikkel Bolante

InterAksyon.com/Mikkel Bolante

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has heard the criticism about his impending entry into the PBA — whether it ends up as a coach or a player — and he is raring to prove his doubters wrong.

“Alam mo challenge yan eh,” Pacquiao said at the launch of ‘Safe Steps,’ a disaster preparedness initiative headed by Prudence Foundation and National Geographic on Thursday at the Marriott Hotel Manila.

The WBO welterweight champion has an agreement to coach the incoming Kia expansion team in the PBA.

“Nung nag-umpisa ako ng boxing, maraming nag-criticize sa akin. ‘Ay yung style mo, hindi ka mag-cha-champion. Wala naman yang style mo.’ Hindi naman ako magaling na boksingero. Kaya maraming nag-ciritcize sa akin. Andami. ‘Magtinda ka na lang ng balut,’” he shared.

“Ako, mas challenge sa akin yan. Gusto ko yan. Hindi nila alam ang ginagawa nila.”

Despite the PBA stating that any rookie, which would include Pacquiao, must join the draft before being eligible to join a team’s lineup, the incoming Kia coach is convinced that he will be allowed to play for his team of choice.

“Sa rules and regulations ng PBA, pag-head coach ka, hindi mo na kailangan dumaan sa draft. Playing coach, hindi na kailangan dumaan,” he insisted.

PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial earlier told the league’s official website that Pacquiao could not be included directly in the Kia lineup without a special concession from the Board of Governors.

The league’s board earlier disallowed Kia, along with other approved expansion teams NLEX and Blackwater, from directly signing amateur players to join their squads.

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