MANNY Pacquiao may wield full control of Kia Motors' team in the PBA, from the rookie ballclub's lineup to its direction, but that doesn't mean the billionaire boxer is in any way involved in financing its operations.
“Depende, depende, pero hindi sila lahat ang ano (gagasta). May enough budget naman ang Kia, so okay na 'yun. My job is to coach this team,” Pacquiao told Spin.ph amid rumors that he is either partly financing the ballclub's operations or is a part-owner of the company.
Pacquiao is known to be generous with money, but the eight-division world champion insisted there is no need for him to shell out any since Columbian Autocar Corp., distributor of Kia vehicles in the country, has a budget in place to cover all the expenses.
“Hindi ko na kailangang maglabas kasi sobra sobra naman (ang pondo ng Kia),” he said.
Team owner Pepito Alvarez insisted the company is more than capable of financing its PBA participation, adding it doesn't need Pacquiao's help financially although no one will stop him from pitching in.
“Merun tayong sarili budget, pero depende yan kung meron siyang … bakit hindi, di ba?” said the Palawan governor. “Okay lang, wala namang problema doon.
“Hindi namin napag-usapan 'yun (ang gumasta siya). Basta meron kaming budget. Pasok siya sa budget. Siyempre ang sa amin, karangalan namin na andun siya (sa team). Tama na 'yun,” he said.
Alvarez bared that Kia Motors' mother company will also be helping out.
“May budget 'yun, kasi nakita mo sa tennis at sa NBA, yung Kia gumagastos naman. Tumutulong yung planta mismo,” Alvarez said, although he refused to reveal the amount pledged by the Korean car brand.
Pacquiao’s business manager Eric Pineda also made it clear they will not in any way take part in financing the team.
“Hindi totoo 'yun (na kami ang gagasta rito). Kasi talagang he was hired by the Kia team to be the playing coach,” said Pineda.
Columbian Autocar Corporation president Ginia Domingo expressed confidence that a "proven winner" like Pacquiao can form a team that will be competitive in the PBA.
“I am sure Congressman Manny can form a very competitive team,” Domingo said. “Right now, our choices are very limited so we have to work around that.”
Are they open to trades at this point, she was asked.
“Of course, gusto mong mag-champion and one of the best ways to do that is to get your own superstars,' she said. "If we cannot develop them ourselves, we will get."