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    With direct hires for new teams ruled out, Manny Pacquiao has to go through rookie draft to realize PBA dream

    Apr 24, 2014

    MANNY Pacquiao will have to go through the process if he is dead serious in his PBA aspirations.

    The league on Thursday decided against allowing direct hires to NLEX, Blakcwater, and Kia after a board meeting, leaving the Filipino boxing icon without a choice but to go through the Rookie Draft on August 24 if he pursues his plan to play professional ball.

    Pacquiao, fresh from a convincing unanimous-decision victory over Timothy Bradley, earlier bared his intention to play for Kia in the automobile company’s debut in Asia’s first play-for-pay league.

    [See Pacman seriously considering playing for Kia Motors in PBA]

    “He will be a welcome addition to the PBA,” league commissioner Chito Salud said. “But you will have to enter the rookie draft — you have to go through the process.”

    If the only eight-division boxing champion still pursues his cage dream, the Sarangani representative will be one of the oldest players to apply for the rookie draft at 35.

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