MANNY Pacquiao can expect a hero's welcome when he arrives from Macau after his successful defense of his world welterweight championship, but he can't expect the same once he steps inside the basketball court.
Purefoods forward Marc Pingris said he felt mighty proud seeing Pacquiao pick apart Chris Algieri in their title fight on Sunday in Macau, but vowed to be all business if the global boxing star pushes through with his plan to plan for KIA Motors on Wednesday against the Hotshots.
“Hindi ako magpapa-pogi points (kay Manny). Trabaho lang,” Pingris said after the Hotshots beat Meralco on Sunday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan City.
The PBA is set to honor Pacquiao in simply pre-game rites, but Pingris vowed no let-up for the reigning grand slam champions against struggling KIA, even if that will mean having to shadow the Sorento playing coach or block his shot.
At this stage, Pingris said Purefoods, which is on a three-game win streak, can't afford to ease up on the pedal even if the Sorento are on a seven-game losing skid, adding the Hotshots are just starting to round into form following a 1-3 start to the Philippine Cup.
“Para sa akin, trabaho din namin ‘to as a player eh. Kahit Manny Pacquiao ‘yan, talagang didepensahan namin. Gagawin namin ‘yung trabaho namin,” Pingris said.
The Purefoods star said a professional athlete like Pacquiao would expect nothing less.
“Alam ko ganun din siya sa boxing kasi professional din siya. Bahala na kapag nandoon. Magfo-focus ako. Hindi ako madi-distract na si Manny ‘yun,” said Pingris.
The Gilas Pilipinas star said he only has the highest respect and admiration for Pacquiao after the one-sided win over Algieri.
“Congrats kay Manny. Very proud ako kasi Pilipino siya eh. Kitang kita mo naman ‘yung puso niya na every game, gusto niyang manalo at tinataas niya ‘yung bandila natin,” said the many-time national team mainstay.
“Ang gusto ko kay Manny ‘yung hindi niya nakakalimutan si Lord. Lahat naman ito, utang natin kay Lord,” he added.