AFTER close to two weeks of boxing training for his upcoming fight against challenger Chris Algieri, Kia playing-coach Manny Pacquiao is ready to shoot some hoops.
Kia team manager Eric Pineda said Pacquiao has confirmed that he will play on Saturday when the Sorento face fellow expansion team Blackwater in a PBA Liga ng Bayan preseason game in Binan, Laguna.
“Yes, maglalaro si Manny, he’s excited to play this Saturday,” Pineda told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
The fighting congressman from Saranggani will take a brief break from his boxing training to join Kia, which has been training religiously for close to two months now under assistant coach Glen Capacio.
“Baka Friday, he might join the team in practice,” Pineda added.
The 'Pacman' has missed the team’s six tune-up matches as he went on a press tour in China and United States last August and immediately returned to General Santos to start doing light training for his November 17 title defense against Algieri.
Blackwater coach Leo Isaac said his players are excited to play against Pacquiao, though he has reminded them again to treat Saturday’s match against Kia as just another game.
“Some of the players on the sidelines are saying, ‘if the congressman or boxing champion Manny Pacquiao will suit up, I will be the one to defend him,’” Isaac told Spin.ph, after learning that the boxing icon will be playing this weekend.
“There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation going to Saturday’s game, but we just have to remind them that’s it’s not going to be an exhibition game with all the thrills, but it’s going to be a serious basketball game,” he added.
“Kasi, baka maging parang fiesta, eh this game is preparing the whole team for the PBA season.”