MANNY Pacquiao was in the mood to score in his first PBA All-Star appearance as he started for the Stalwarts in their Blitz Game against the Greats on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mahindra playing-coach saw action for the entire 10 minutes of the first quarter where he finished with seven points to stake his team to a 25-20 lead, serving up the highlights in an otherwise drab game played before a few hundred fans at the Big Dome.
Pacquiao consequently drew the most cheers as he finished the first half with nine points – already his career-high in the league – on 4 of 9 shooting and with two assists, but the Stalwarts trailed the Greats, 43-41, after two quarters.
The Stalwarts won, 99-94, with Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine winning MVP honors.
"Masaya, masaya ito," he said before the game. "First time kong makakalaro sa All-Star."
Former Ginebra star Noli Locsin was also a fan favorite as he turned back the clock and finished with a double-double for the Greats side.
"Walang practice. Walang training e," said the boxing great afterwards after going scoreless in the second half.
The team later got a taste of Pacquiao's legendary generosity after he gave the Stalwarts a hefty bonus for the win.
"Thank you Senator," the team told led by playing-coach Ronnie Magsanoc told the 37-year-old Pacquiao.