LETRAN got a boost in its NCAA title-retention bid with Manny Pacquiao reaffirming his support for the Knights.
Knights officials and coaching staff paid a courtesy call on their chief backer on Wednesday night at the Filipino boxing superstar’s home in Forbes Park.
The boxing superstar renewed his commitment to support the Knights for this season, but it was the first time Pacquiao met the team since their title quest in Season 91.
“Sabi lang niya, 110 percent ang suporta niya. Medyo busy lang siya kaya hindi siya nakakapanood,” said new Knights coach Jeff Napa.
The Knights won an NCAA title in Pacquiao's first year as main backer and promised to give each player of that champion team P100,000. Pacquiao’s former assistant coach at Mahindra, Aldin Ayo, left for UAAP side La Salle in the offseason.
“He will find ways na makapanood siya ng game. Mambubulaga na lang siya sa mga bata,” Napa said.
The Knights beat Jose Rizal University, 67-62, the day after the coaches’ meeting with Pacquiao.
“Siyempre, iba ‘yun. Manny Pacquiao ‘yun. Hall of Famer ‘yun. It’s a great experience,” said Napa.
The Letran rookie coach admitted he was starstruck, and impressed with Pacquiao’s talent in multiple sports.
“First time ko lang siya na-meet. Sobrang down to earth. Nag-chess pa sila ni Father (Letran athletic director Vic Calvo).
“Kahit anong sport yata, magaling siya eh, ultimo chess. Very talented. Kaya marami ang nag-aadmire sa kanya. ‘Yung team lino-look up ‘yung mga accomplishments niya,” said Napa.