BOCAUE, Bulacan – Obviously, Manny Pacquiao’s heart of a champion rubbed off on the entire Kia Motors team.
Board representative Ginia Domingo believes the boxing icon helped make the difference in the Sorentos’ rousing 80-66 debut win over fellow expansion Blackwater during the opening of the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at the Philippine Arena.
The Sorentos struggled in the early goings of the game witnessed by a record crowd of 52, 612 that saw them trailed the Elite by as many as 13 points.
Domingo recalled how things changed shortly after half time when Pacquiao did some pep talk inside the team dugout.
“Nakakatakot yung first half kasi parang nag-give up na eh. But after halftime, I’m so happy, sobrang saya, eh I was convincing Governor (Pepito) Alvarez (Kia’s team owner) to talk to the players, pero sabi niya, hindi na, kaya na iyan ni Manny,” said the Kia lady official.
Like a team possessed, the Sorentos came out with guns ablaze to start the third quarter behind the hot hands of guard LA Revilla.
“He (Pacquiao) has the heart of a champion. And true enough, paglabas sa dugout, they (Sorentos) had a determined look on their faces, so it was a good win,” added the only lady governors in the male-dominated PBA Board.
Pacquiao played for just six minutes and 46 seconds during the first quarter as a starter for the Sorentos.
He didn’t bother to come back even after the outcome of the game was already decided and fans at the domed arena clamoring for his return on the court by repeatedly chanting his name.
The 35-year-old rookie playing coach failed to score and grab a rebound during his brief stint, but committed two turnovers and was whistled for a foul.