BINAN, Laguna - Kia Motors playing-coach Manny Pacquiao said he was hardly bothered by Blackwater’s Chris Timberlake and Sunday Salvacion who took turns hounding him on the defensive end during his brief stint in a PBA preseason game on Saturday.
While the world’s only eight-division boxing champion got a warm reception from fans at the Binan Sports Arena Pacquiao didn’t get the same warm reception from the two Blackwater players, who where in the face of the Kia playing-coach each time he touched the basketball.
Still, Pacquiao, who has fought some of the world’s fiercest and more fearsome fighters inside the boxing ring, said he doesn't have a problem with any kind of banging or shoving on a basketball court.
“Okay lang, kasi di naman ako nagbabad, ilang minuto lang kasi may fight tayo, pero sanay naman tayo ng ganun (physical, pressure defense), naglalaro tayo ng basketball,” Pacquiao told reporters after Kia fell to Blackwater, 77-88 in their official preseason game.
“Saka kaya naman, boxing suntukan 'yan eh, iyan pa kaya (physicality in basketball) banggaan lang,” he added.
Pacquiao said while he is busy preparing for his title defense against Chris Algieri, he is not remiss on his duties as Kia's playing coach, saying he studies the practice tapes sent to him by the coaching staff.
In fact, the 35-year-old rookie guard said he has reminded the Kia players of their “defense-first” approach this coming PBA season, something they were able to show during their preseason win over Barangay Ginebra two months ago.
“Tinalo nga namin Ginebra eh, so kailangan lang ng teamwork saka i-execute yung depensa namin kasi dun kami mag-capitalize,” explained Pacquiao, who finished the game with one point, one rebound and two turnovers.