DON'T expect Manny Pacquiao to show up for his first official function as a PBA rookie applicant.
The 36-year-old boxing hero and congressman has already been excused from attending the second half of the PBA Draft Combine on Tuesday at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.
Kia Motors team manager Eric Pineda revealed the camp of the eight-division world boxing champion asked for an exemption from the PBA Commissioner’s Office since Pacquiao has a lot of prior commitments to attend to in his role as congressman representing the lone district of Sarangani.
The PBA reserves the right to disqualify rookie applicants who fail to attend the biometric tests for rookies without a 'valid reason.'
“Humingi kami ng exemption, kasi hinid kakayanin ng schedule ni congressman,” said Pineda. “Marami kasi siyang kailangang harapin sa kanyang mg consitituents ngayon sa Sarangani."
In an interview with Spin.ph, Pacquiao’s chief of staff in Congress, Kit Mercado, bared the Pinoy boxing pride has a lot of district work to do in Sarangani, where he is supervising a lot of infrastructure projects including the construction of a public hospital.
“Marami kasi siyang important appointments sa Sarangani with his constituents na hindi pwedeng iwan,” said Mercado. “Today and tomorrow may charity tournament din siya sa Davao.”
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial bared that Pacquiao requested for an exemption because of his hectic schedule in Sarangani as well as his training for his upcoming fight with Chris Algieri.
“Pinayagan na namin kasi may mga training saka commitment siya sa mga constituents niya,” said Marcial.
The rookie camp started on Monday with applicants with surnames beginning from A to G were given different physical and training activities by camp director Bong Ramos. Pacquiao belonged to the H to Z group.
Four rookie applicants missed out on Monday's camp. It is not known if they have been disqualified from joining the August 24 draft at Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila.
Pacquiao, however, is likely to attend the rookie draft where he will be tasked to make the selections for Kia and at the same time be among the draftees.
According to his camp, Pacquiao has already delayed his supposed August 21 flight to Macau, for the promotional tour of his November 23 fight with Chris Algieri, who will join him at Top Rank-organized press conferences in Macau, Beijing Taipei, San Franciso, LA and New York.
He is set to return to the Philippines and begin his training camp on September 7.
Since the league institutionalized the rookie camp 12 years ago, Marcial bared that this is not the first time that the PBA will allow an applicant toskip the pre-draft proceedings.
“Hindi ito ang first time na nagbigay tayo ng exemption. May mga players ng NCAA at UAAP ang hindi rin nakaka-attend sa rookie camp kasi may practice o may laro sila,” said Marcial.
“Siguro nabigyan lang ng hype 'yung pag-skip bukas ni Congressman Manny, kasi nga high-profile applicant siya, pero madalas may mga na-e-exempt,” added the amiable league official.
Mercial bared that Pacquiao will however be required to undergo the official measurements.
“Dun, kailangan niya pumunta sa office para masukat siya sa vital stats. Pero we will not announce kung kalian kasi baka dumugin ng fans ang office,” he said.