BOXING superstar Manny Pacquiao wants no less than a respectable campaign for his MP Hotel team in its maiden campaign in the PBA D-League.
“Ang sabi lang niya sa amin, preparahan ‘yung D-League kasi malaking liga ‘yun, gandahan ang performance, at bigyan ng magandang laban ang manonood,” said MP Hotel coach Arvin Bonleon, when asked about Pacquiao’s message to the team as it plays in the season-opening Aspirants Cup that kicks off Monday at the Ynares Center in Pasig.
Unlike PBA expansion franchise Kia Motors where he serves as playing-coach, Pacquiao is team owner of MP Hotel of which he has a lot of say on the squad.
Bonleon bared Pacquiao has initiated a program for MP Hotel that is centered around a so-called 5 s -- skills, speed, stamina, strength, and science.
“Lahat, na-memeet ‘yun. Kulang lang kami sa tune-up games,” said Bonleon, a former San Sebastian Stag who also coached Pacquiao’s squad in Liga Pilipinas.
To make up for the absence of tune-up games, Bonleon said the Warriors work on their stamina by running, something which Pacquiao also does especially when he trains for a big fight.
“Every now and then, tinitignan niya ‘yung team especially ‘yung stamina and speed. Sinasabi niya na ‘yung speed and stamina ang magdadala sa team. Kaya pinapatakbo lagi kami,” said Bonleon.
The Warriors have players from around the country to comprise the squad, according to Bonleon. There are three players coming from General Santos City and Manila, two from Davao, two from Cebu, two from Pampanga, two from Iloilo, and one from Subic.
The team is composed of Evan George Allen, Hernal Escosio, Russel Yaya, JR Sumido, Aldren Blanco, Rashawn McCarthy, Robert Hainga, Emmanuel Calo, Jefferson Morillo, Jumabon Bulac, Meylan Landicho, Edrinar Yusop, Jonathan Belorio, and Jessie James Collado.
Although not part of the official line-up, Rene Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer’s second cousin, is also expected to suit up for the Warriors.