MVP gets good-natured ribbing from Pacquiao after Letran beats San Beda in NCAA
The Manny Pacquiao-backed Letran Knights and Manny Pangilinan-supported San Beda Red Lions are 1-2 in the NCAA standings. Jerome Ascano / Jaime Campos

TOGETHER as one, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan joined hands when the country bid for the hosting of the 2019 Fiba World Cup in Tokyo, Japan last week.

But it was during that same gathering when Pacquiao was able to pull a fast one against the man they called MVP.

According to Letran coach Aldin Ayo, the boxing champ was able to mention in between their stay in the Japanese capital about the Knights’ victory over the San Beda Red Lions, 93-80, last July 16.

Pacquiao was recently named Letran team manager, while Pangilinan has been the team patron of San Beda for many years now.

“Nung nandoon si Boss Manny sa Japan, kasama niya si Manny Pangilinan. ‘Yung makantsawan niya lang si Manny Pangilinan na nanalo ang Letran sa kanila, malaking bagay sa amin ‘yun,” said a smiling Ayo.

He said Pacquiao told the Letran coaching staff about what he told to Pangilinan in Tokyo, adding the gesture of the Filipino boxing superstar meant a lot to the Knights.

“Alam namin na very proud sa amin si Boss Manny,” the rookie coach added. “He told us that he is very proud of us. If there is one thing na sinabi niya sa amin na sinabi ko sa mga bata na ma-iinspire sila, eh ‘yung straight from the heart na galing sa number 1 supporter namin.”

Pacquiao’s presence with Letran has worked wonders with the team as the Knights finished the first round of eliminations with an 8-1 win-loss card.

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