MACAU – Boxing great Manny Pacquiao has hinted he will immediately rejoin his KIA Motors team in the PBA straight from his 12-round title fight against Chris Algieri on Sunday.
Pacquiao, who is on leave as KIA playing-coach while preparing for the Algieri fight, aired his desire to play in the Sorento’s next game in the PBA Philippine Cup against James Yap and defending champion Purefoods.
“Puwedeng maglaro na ako ulit dun,” a smiling Pacquiao disclosed to Spin.ph.
Pacquiao is now in the final days of his preparation for his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship match against Algieri this Sunday at the Cotai Arena here.
The country's most popular athlete played his first and only PBA game during the opening of the league’s 40th season at the 55,000-capacity Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, where the Sorento rallied to beat fellow expansion team Blackwater.
Pacquiao has since focused on his title fight against Algieri and sat out Kia’s next seven games, which the Sorento all lost including a 90-74 rout at the hands of league leader San Miguel on Wednesday night.
But Pacquiao is so eager to rejoin KIA that his handlers disclosed the 35-year-old champion is eager to finish off his business against Algieri as early as possible.
In fact, he was caught on video by Spin.ph trying to polish his jumper during an open workout in Macau on Wednesday. Watch the video:
Assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez told Spin.ph he doesn’t expect the bout to go the full route as compared to previous Pacquiao matches.
“Hindi ito tatagal. Uuwi tayo ng maaga sa Linggo,” he said.
Even Pacquiao’s chief of security Caloy Homo bared that shortly after Sunday’s fight, the 380-man entourage that accompanied the 35-year-old champion here will immediately fly back to General Santos City via two Air Asia chartered flights.
“Pagkatapos ng laban, pahinga lang saglit tapos lipad na kami ng Air Asia patungong GenSan,” said Homo, who normally monitors the daily itinerary of his boss.
The Sarangani congressman is scheduled to stay in GenSan for two days to attend to his constituents before flying to Manila on November 26 to rejoin KIA.
Pacquiao, for his part, admitted to Spin.ph how he missed playing the game he loves.
“Isang buwan na akong hindi naglalaro. Nakaka-miss rin talaga. Kaso kailangan kong sundin ang gusto ni coach Freddie (Roach),” said Pacquiao in between his training at the basement of the Venetian Hotel.