MACAU – There is still nothing like having Manny Pacquiao around during games of Kia Motors.
The Sorento obviously badly missed the presence of their beloved playing-coach that their maiden campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup took a turn for the worst the moment the boxing great momentarily left the team to concentrate in his training for his world welterweight title fight against Chris Algieri.
But with the 35-year-old Pacquiao bound for a comeback by next week, the Sorento is expected to go all-out in their bid to revive their sagging playoff bid in the season-opening conference.
“Malakas ang loob nilang lahat pag nandun ka,” said team manager Eric Pineda when the Sorento made a visit in his Venetian suite Friday night shortly upon arriving here in this former Portuguese colony.
To which Pacquiao replied, “Kailangan pa ba nandun ako?” and then added, “Kaya kailangan pag nandun ako manalo tayo.”
Pacquiao played his first and only game with Kia during the opening of the league’s 40th season, helping the team rallied back from a 13-point deficit to turn back fellow expansion team Blackwater, 80-66.
But in his absence, Kia lost its next six games and now teetered on the brink of elimination.
“Anong nangyari boys,” Pacquiao asked the team regarding its 1-6 (win-loss) slate.
“Wala ka kasi coach,” Joshua Webb snapped back.