FIL-AM rookie hopeful Phillip Morrison is a self-confessed Manny Pacquiao diehard fan.
No wonder Morrison was so thrilled after seeing, talking with, and even playing under the watchful eyes of the global boxing superstar during the tryouts of expansion team Kia Motors held last Monday at the Sta. Lucia gym in Cainta, Rizal.
“I was the only rookie applicant in the tryout there. But that (seeing Pacquiao) was really cool, and just be able to talk to him,” Morrison told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
Morrison said he’s got a lot of friends in the United States who, like him, considers Pacquiao their biggest hero. no wonder a simple compliment from the 'Pacman' leaves him tickled pink.
“He just told me, ‘Good job’. He actually talked to the team and then prayed for the team before the end of practice,” he added.
The six-footer's name may not ring a bell for local basketball fans, but the Fil-Am guard out of Asbury University has made a name for himself in the 2013 season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL), where he posted season averages of 14.9 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.9 rebounds while playing for the Saigon Heat and the Singapore Slingers.
Born in San Diego, California, Morrison said his Filipina mother, the former Casildalita Laude Sicat, hails from Pampanga. She passed away in 2007.
Morrison though is expected to encounter stiff competition in this year’s PBA rookie draft set this August where a bumper crop of rookie guards are expected to apply, including first-round prospects Chris Banchero, Kevin Alas, Garvo Lanete, Ronald Pascual, and Rome dela Rosa.
He nonetheless vowed to make an impression in the tryouts.
“I’ll try to go and workout with any PBA team, especially the expansion teams soon,” said Morrison.