MANILA – The moment Manny Pacquiao stepped on the basketball court on Sunday, he was well-applauded. Of course, who will not give recognition to the Filipino boxing champ who happens to be the only boxer to win titles in eight divisions in the world?
Unfortunately for him, he realized that he still has a long way to go when you speak of basketball.
During the opening game for KIA Sorentos, the team where he is a playing coach, the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao got almost seven minutes of playing time.
But unlike his boxing fights, Pacquiao never got the push he needed. Likewise, he will never get the same respect given that PBA players have vowed to make life hard for him.
“Our players, especially the guards, have been talking about it (Pacquiao in the PBA) and they promised that he won’t be getting special treatment,” a staff of a popular team said just after Pacquiao led the Sorentos in the traditional parade of teams.
The source added that, “They agreed that they will never allow Pacquiao an open shot because it’s their job to stop him. If they allow him an uncontested jump shot or layup, fans may cheer. But they (opposing players) will look bad and they will be answerable to our coach.”
For Pacquiao’s first performance, he was scoreless with two turnovers.
Spectators say that he performed better during warm-ups. If KIA hopes to keep the novelty of his PBA career going, well he better step up his game and prove them wrong.