MANNY Pacquiao was grateful to Yeng Guiao after succeeding to talk the Rain or Shine out of his plans to draft the incoming Kia coach with the Elasto Painters' No. 9 pick overall in the PBA rookie draft.
Spin.ph personally caught Guiao getting an overseas call on the draft floor from Pacquiao straight from his hotel room in Beijing to relay his gratitude for not beating Kia to the playing rights to the boxing hero.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor has been very vocal about his intention to draft Pacquiao, who he said can be a priceless marketing asset for the company which the team represents.
“We really have an intention to pick him,” said Guiao.
But a few miniutes before the draft proceedings opened, Guiao said he and Pacquiao had reached an agreement.
“Nag-usap na kami ni Manny, sabi ko hindi ko na siya ida-draft,” said Guiao. “Nagpasalamat naman siya, at masayang masaya.”
Guiao said Pacquiao was also grateful for taking a close look at him.
“Sinabi nga niya, salamat daw kasi kahit papaano na-consider ko siya. Hindi naman daw siya ganun kakilala bilang (basketball) player,” shared Guiao of his conversation with the eight-division world champion.
“Peor sabi ko, ‘Manny, itaas lang ng isang kamay mo ang lata ng Rain or Shine, papalo na ang sales namin.' Pero OK na, sabi ko sa kanya, 'Nag-usap na kami ng mga bata mo dito.'"
Meanwhile, a source told Spin.ph that Columbian Autocar Corporation owner Pepito Alvarez even went to the point of calling his fellow team owners to leave out Pacquiao with the first 10 picks of the draft.
“Kinausap kami ni Gov Pepito, sabi naming OK. Ganyan naman sa PBA respetuhan,” said one team owner who refused to be named.