DON'T look now, but two of the country’s most celebrated sports icons may end up joining forces on the Kia Motors bench when the expansion team debuts in the PBA next season.
Kia's incoming team manager Eric Pineda told Spin.ph that plans to put legendary PBA star Robert Jaworski side by side with Pacquiao on the Kia bench "is one of the things discussed with the management."
“Napag-usapan 'yan pero wala pang definite,” said Pineda, who bared that the idea of getting the former Ginebra playing coach was broached by the owners and top brass of Kia Motors.
“Willing naman si Manny na kausapin si Big J, kung may definite na. Pero ngayon sabi ko nga everything is still fluid,” added the longtime Pacquiao associate.
“But I repeat, the name (of Jaworski) was already mentioned by the management of Kia and it is already there (on the table).”
Pineda, however, was not clear on what position will be offered to Jaworski, especially in the wake of Pacquiao's statement to Spin.ph that he plans to be a playing coach of the expansion team.
But one thing going for Kia is Pacquiao's known ties with Jaworski, who is a fixture in most of the boxing hero's fights overseas. The 'Pacman' is also an avowed fan of the PBA Hall of Famer.
Pineda bared that he is set to sit down with Pacquiao to map out the final composition of the coaching staff on Thursday evening with Pacquiao.
The Kia team official said he is aware of pending negotiations between Jaworski and his old balclub, which Spin.ph first reported last month before Ginebra opted to name Jeff Cariaso as its new coach.
Asked if budgetary issues will stand in the way at the planned partnership of Jaworski and Pacquiao, Pineda responded: "Hindi ko naman nakikitang magkakaroon ng problema."
“It’s just a matter of ano lang talaga 'yan, yung philosophy ng team, like how the coaching style of Jaworski will blend … yan ang mga pag-uusapang criteria dyan eh.”
Aside from the Big J, Pineda revealed that no other PBA great is being eyed for a Kia coaching staff as they prefer to give other coaches an opportunity to help.
“Wala nang PBA greats dito (sa coaching staff), mga bata na coaches, kasi gusto ni Manny na bigyan ng break yung iba na hindi pa nabibigyan ng chance,” said Pineda. “Marami dyan na mga highly qualified na hindi pa nabibigyan ng break.”
The longtime Team Pacquiao business manager also confirmed the inclusion of longtime GlobalPort assistant coach Glenn Capacio to the staff, with former national coach Joe Lipa being considered as consultant.
Capacio is said to be the one handling the formation of the team and its system.
“We just want to sit down with Glenn and talk to him about his recommendations and then we will give him his options para hindi siya mahirapan sa pamamalakad,” said Pineda.
Pineda, however, denied the team has also brought in current Malaysia Westport Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia.
“Hindi kasama 'yung Ariel. Hindi ko alam kung paano nalagay sa news. Hindi pa nga namin nakakausap 'yun, pero si Glenn, first choice talaga ni Manny yun,” said Pineda. “Matagal nang magkakilala yan eh.”
For podcast of full interview with Pineda, click HERE.