DAVAO CITY - Talk about bizarre twists in this Sunday’s PBA rookie draft: What if Manny Pacquiao, who will be coaching expansion team Kia, is drafted by another team before his ballclub could tab him?
Possible? Pacman said it is.
“Yes, hindi imposible,” said the eight-division world boxing champion in an interview at The Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City, shortly after playing for his MP Hotel team in an invitational basketball tournament.
The boxing star slash Sarangani congressman and now PBA coach and aspiring player will be one of the 87 rookie aspirants in the draft to be held at the Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila.
[For official rookie list, click HERE.]
Problem is, Kia is picking 11th overall in the draft and the other PBA ballclubs can just as easily beat them to the draw by getting the rights to Pacquiao with any of the first 10 picks.
So which team would do that, Pacquiao was asked.
"Ginebra. Baka Ginebra,” Pacquiao said of the San Miguel Corporation team whose popular gin brand he has long endorsed.
So what happens if Ginebra, or any team for that matter, picks him ahead of the team he will be coaching?
“Si Commissioner (Chito) Salud na bahala diyan,” said Pacquiao.
Pacquiao declined to reveal who he will pick in the first round. He also did not confirm if he plans to pick himself at No. 11 or in the second round.
But he hinted that cousin Rene Pacquiao, a 6-5 forward, is high on his list.
“Lumakas si Rene ngayon. Sana available pa siya pag-pick namin,” Pacquiao said of the former Southwestern University player described down South as a “poor man’s Marc Pingris.”
Pacquiao, who played in Davao City for his team MP Hotel last Tuesday on the same day the PBA held the Gatorade Combine rookie camp, said he is honing his shooting with daily drills that include shooting 300 from the rainbow area.
He has also developed a sleek hesitation move and a quick wraparound dribble switch which he displayed during the Davao game.
He led his team with 10 points, seven of them in the first quarter including the ice-breaking triple, in a losing cause to The Royal Mandaya Hotel-CMO in the 2014 Kadayawan Invitational basketball tournament.
Last February, Pacquiao said he scored a personal-best 42 points spiked with 11 three-pointers in a tournament in Gen. Santos City.