Barako import Solomon Alabi gets a win, near-triple double and 'selfie' with favorite boxer
KIA playing-coach Manny Pacquiao kept himself on the bench during the match against Barako. Jerome Ascano

SOLOMON Alabi not only got a near-triple double and a win on Sunday night, he also had a bonus ‘selfie’ with no less than his favorite boxer.

The Barako Bull import seized the chance to have his photo taken with boxing superstar and KIA playing-coach Manny Pacquiao during the pre-game shoot around at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 26-year-old Nigerian, who finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds, and eight block shots in the Energy’s third straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, 95-86, was thrilled no end upon seeing the Filipino ring icon enter the court for some warm-up shooting while he was doing his own thing at the other end.

With the Big Dome lights still off and only a few people inside the venue, the Barako Bull import lost no time going back to the team dugout to get his mobile phone.

“I was excited that he was coming to this game. When I saw him coming out, I said, 'Oh my God,’” Alabi recalled the moment like a kid receiving his first candy bar.

“I was excited to meet Pacquiao. He was my favorite boxer. So I was excited to see him personally. And I want to take a picture with him.”

[See Boxing champ turns peacemaker as KIA, Barako players lose cool]

Armed with his phone, the former Florida State University alum turned into an instant fan and politely walked over to where Pacquiao was to ask for some pictures.

“He was nice, and said, ‘Yeah come on and take pictures,'” said Alabi, who disclosed watching all of Pacquiao’s fights in the US either live or through pay-per-view, including the award-winning 24/7 on HBO.

Alabi said he would have loved playing with Pacquiao on the court, although the fighting congressman out of Sarangani opted to just coach on the sidelines after just arriving from the US Saturday night.


“It would have been nice if he played,” the Barako Bull import added.

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