MAHINDRA is clueless on whether playing-coach Manny Pacquiao will resume playing or calling the shots for the team for the remainder of the PBA’s 41st season.
Top deputy Chito Victolero said the Enforcers haven’t heard from the Filipino boxing superstar after the team’s campaign in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup came to an end on Sunday as Blackwater ousted its fellow two-year franchise in the fight for the remaining playoffs berth, 108-99.
“Right now, I don’t know (on Pacquiao returning back to the team),” said Victolero, who has been the one calling the shots for the Enforcers in the absence of its celebrated playing-coach.
“Of course, he’s busy for the election and may fight siya by April. So I really don’t know ano ang plano niya.”
Pacquiao, the only eight division world champion and current congressman of Sarangani province, played in only two games this tournament, his last being in Dubai against the Alaska Aces. But he did make his first league field goal right in Mahindra’s opening outing against Rain or Shine.
Assistant team manager Joe Ramos said he, too, hasn’t spoken with Pacquiao for quite some time now since the ring icon and his family had a month-long vacation in Greece and Israel.
Ramos said previous commitments with Mahindra also forced him to forego attending Pacquiao’s birthday party in General Santos last week.
“Wala rin akong idea what’s his plan, although tama si coach Chito he’s busy right now for the election,” said Ramos, referring to Pacquiao's bid for a Senate seat in next year’s local polls.
But Victolero stressed Pacquiao is always in constant touch with the team through team manager and longtime associate Eric Pineda.
“Lagi namang tumatawag 'yan kay Boss Eric, especially 'pag may papasabi siya,” Victolero said. “From time to time, he always checks on the team.”