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    Bobby Pacquiao ditches plan to join PBA rookie draft, will play instead in new regional league

    Jul 26, 2014

    FORMER boxing lightweight contender Bobby Pacquiao is no longer keen to follow the path of celebrated brother Manny Pacquiao in his bid to join the coming PBA Rookie Draft.

    The 34-year-old retired boxer bared he is now focusing instead on a possible stint with the family-supported Sarangani team in the soon-to-be-inaugurated Countrywide Basketball League (CWBL).

    “Hindi na ako magpapa-draft. Sa CWBL na ako ini-lineup," said Bobby, whose billionaire brother is supporting the franchise.

    Bobby does not need to go through the rigorous process of joining any rookie draft as CWBL rules allow each member team to hire non-PBA players aged 30-years-old-and-up.

    Pacquiao has no experience playing in collegiate basketball leagues, but has been a regular member of every team his brother Manny formed like the MP and chaMP teams that competed in Mindanao leagues.

    Former NCAA star guard and now Letran Knights assistant coach Ronjay Enrile can actually attest to the decent basketball skills of the younger Pacquiao.

    “Mas may galaw 'yun. Mas mahusay magdala ng bola. Maayos din lumaro," said Enrile, who has played against the Pacquiaos several times in the past.

    Bobby, meanwhile, denied he withdrew from the PBA Draft owing to the fierce opposition from fans who denounced the plans for him and his Kuya Manny to make themselves available for the August 22.

    "Hindi naman sa ganun. Sa CWBL na lang muna ko, kasi baka mag assistant coach din ako run," said the soft-spoken General Santos city native.

    Meanwhile, the opening of the CWBL, reportedly being backed by television giant ABS-CBN, has been again deferred to November this year.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Tournament director Joe Lipa told organizers are still finalizing some details of the regional-based league patterned after the now defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).

    Lipa bared currently there are 22 applicant teams which are mostly funded by local government units.

    But Lipa hinted the roster will be trimmed to around 12 teams only to make the league inaugural season more fluid.

    "Baka 12 teams lang muna. Kasi umpisa pa lang. Mukhang isa na run yung kina Pacquiao," said Lipa, a former UAAP champion coach and national mentor.

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