ALTHOUGH the PBA board has already decided against giving direct-hire concessions to the three expansion teams, Kia Motors is set to appeal for special draft case for boxing hero Manny Pacquiao who is being eyed as the new ballclub's playing coach.
Incoming Kia team manager Eric Pineda, who is also Team Pacquiao's business manager, told Spin.ph that team officials are now contemplating on writing a letter to the PBA requesting a meeting with the board do they can "know the consensus of the board of governors."
Pineda stressed that Pacquiao’s case is different from the other aspirants in the rookie draft pool since the eight-division would boxing champion is set to be named as the team’s coach.
“We want to know the consensus of the board about it (Pacquiao being tapped directly by Kia), how we would go about it. Kasi nga we were informed by the commissioner that there are no direct hire (concessions for the three new teams),” said Pineda.
”Siguro kung may concession kami na hihingin, siguro 'yun sana payagan na lang si Manny na maglaro for Kia as playing coach,” he added. “Nasa pakikiusap naman siguro yan.”
For podcast of interview with Eric Pineda, click HERE
Pineda bared that they still have to draft the letter of appeal as they are still trying to evaluate other options including a possible trade where they will hope to get one of the top picks which they will exercise to tab Pacquiao.
Kia Motors' turn in the draft will come with the 11th to 13th picks, depending on a lottery also involving fellow expansion sides NLEX Road Warriors and Blackwater Sports.
“Pero malayo pa naman ang draft. Anything can still happen. But syempre, kami umaasa that the board of governors will grant us the special concession for Manny,” he said.
“Manny’s entry will be good for the PBA din naman.”
The longtime Team Pacquiao associate bared that they are still evaluating other options ahead of the coming dispersal draft for the expansion teams which is set on July 21.
“Pinag-aaralan pa naming ang lahat. May dispersal draft pa kasi kaya pati yung pagsali sa draft ni Manny, if ever, is also hanging in the balance,” Pineda said.
And with a long line of marquee amateurs coming in like Bobby Ray Parks, Kevin Louie Alas, Chris Banchero, Garvo Lanete, Matt Ganuelas, Jake Pascual, Ronald Pascual, and Brian Heruela, Pineda was asked: “Is there a chance that Pacquiao will be targeted by other teams in the first round?”
“I don’t see why not? Syempre, 'yun ang worry namin. It has come to our attention that other teams are also interested in him,” Pineda replied.
“The likes of Manny Pacquiao, hindi mo pwedeng sabihin na hindi nila (other teams) kukunin. For whatever it’s worth it’s (his name) always (valuable to a team),” said the outspoken Team Pacquiao business manager.
Pineda also assured that when Pacquiao plays in the big league, he’ll definitely show his "court value."
“They have always known Manny as a boxer, but what a lot of fans don’t know, boxing is a profession for him … but basketball is his passion, his love,” said Pineda while revealing how basketball has become an important key in Pacman’s training camp.
“Mas matagal siya maglaro ng basketball kaysa boxing. Almost everyday nagbabasketbol 'yan. Mga kalaro niya ex-PBA players or some active pa, may mga taga-D-League,” said Pineda of Pacquiao, who through the years has maintained and coached a semi-pro basketball team.
“So he knows how to run a team.”
Pineda also bared that it was him who introduced the idea of Pacquiao playing for Kia, as he is a good friend and golf buddy of Columbia Motors owner Pepito Alvarez.
“Sa akin, hindi ko naman siya isusubo lang kung wala naman akong kumpiyansa, kung mapapahiya lang siya,” he said.