MANNY Pacquiao may not have the coaching experience required in a high-level league such as the PBA, but champion coach Tim Cone still gives him the benefit of the doubt and believes the boxing superstar is capable of whipping expansion franchise Kia Motors into a well-conditioned team.
“I think he’ll (Pacquiao) be a good motivator. I’m sure his players will be in great shape,” said Cone when asked on his take about the eight-time world champion assuming the role of coach for Kia as the new team makes its debut when Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league opens its 40th season this October.
“I think he’ll (Pacquiao) have a lot of help and he’ll rely on his assistants a lot.”
The 35-year-old boxing great had earlier bared his plans to become a playing-coach for Kia, one of three expansion teams accepted by the PBA for the coming new season along with NLEX and Blackwater Sports.
And to prove his point, the Pacman himself led the two-day initial tryouts held by Kia this week.
While it interests him to pit coaching wits with Pacquiao on the sidelines, Cone is actually more excited to see how the 5-foot-6 Filipino southpaw stands his ground against star points guards in the league such as Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, Jason Castro of Talk `N Text, and even San Mig’s own Mark Barroca.
“We’ll see, but it will be fun to see him out there against LA Tenorio, or Jason Castro or Mark Barroca,” said a smiling Cone after the Mixers pulled off a come-from-behind 92-82 win over Globalport Friday night in the Governors Cup.
“But I hope they don’t duke it out, or Mark will lose that one. You don’t want to make Manny pikon,” he added.
“And yeah, it will actually be fun. We’ll see how it works out.”