Manny Pacquiao is arriving in the country this Wednesday, and guess where he is immediately headed?
Kia Carnival team manager Eric Pineda, a longtime member of Team Pacquiao, bared that the eight-division world boxing champion is set to resume his head-coaching duties in time for KIA Motors' game against Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors Cup.
“Yes, he is arriving on Wednesday and he will join the team in the game,” said Pineda.
And since Pacquiao is recovering from surgery in his shoulder which he hurt during his loss to Floyd Mayweather last May 3, Pineda bared the 36-year-old ring hero will be spending more time calling the shots for the Carnival.
“Malamang every game, siya na ang mag-command sa team,” said Pineda, expecting Pacquiao to handle the white board and plot plays on the bench.
In the past, Pacquiao has mostly been there for motivation for KIA, leaving the coaching duties initially to Glen Capacio and later to lead assistant Chito Victolero.
Pacquiao confirmed to Spin.ph during a short chat in his Los Angeles house that he will now have more time to devote to coaching, now that an injury has stymied his basketball and boxing career.
“Coach lang muna ako. Hindi pa pwedeng lumaro eh. Pero lagi na akong makakasama ng team,” Pacquiao said.
Since Pacquiao is also a congressman representing the province of Sarangani among his many hats, Pineda was non-committal when asked if Pacquiao will also supervise the team’s practices.
“Sa practices siguro hindi na masyado. Kasi may iba pang affairs si congressman,” he said.
Even KIA players are excited to see Pacquiao back, team insiders said, since the generous playing coach is expected to hand out his personal bonuses for KIA's wins in the Commissioner's Cup as well as its opening victory against San Miguel Beer in the Governors Cup.
“Yes, excited na kaming makita si boss. May bonus daw kami sa kanya eh. Last conference pa saka ngayon,” said a player who requested that he not be named.
Long known for his generosity, Pacquiao usually hands out won game bonuses to his players from his own pocket, aside from the perks given by the team.