Manny Pacquiao drafted into Philippine Basketball Association

Manny Pacquiao was taken with the 11th pick of the PBA draft on Sunday by Kia Motors, where he's slated to play professional basketball in his native country as a player-coach.
Manny Pacquiao shown during an interview on Friday ahead of the Philippine Basketball Association draft on Sunday, in which he was selected. Ritchie B Tongo / EPA / August 22, 2014
Manny Pacquiao shown during an interview on Friday ahead of the Philippine Basketball Association draft on Sunday, in which he was selected. Ritchie B Tongo / EPA / August 22, 2014

The Philippine Basketball Association draft was on Sunday.

The first pick, to GlobalPort Batang Pier, was Stanley Pringle. If you’re a fan of US college Penn State or Belgian, Polish and Indonesian domestic basketball, he might be vaguely familiar.

Ten picks later, Kia Motors took Manny Pacquiao. If you’re a human living on earth, he’s probably a bit more familiar.

Pacquiao continues to prove he can do pretty much anything he wants in the Philippines, because in addition to being a congressman in the counry he’s now going to be player-coach of the fledgling franchse in the PBA.

Pac Man becomes the oldest player ever to be drafted into the PBA, at 35. It’s not really clear that Pacquiao is any good at basketball or that he can coach. Nevertheless, the 5ft 6ins boxing legend will, at some point in the near future, do both of those things, nominally professionally, in the Philippines.

Pacquiao is still boxing, don’t worry. He has a fight scheduled with American Chris Algieri in Macau in November, and, at least in a limited context, his trainer Freddie Roach has signed off on the basketball adventure.

“We came to an agreement that four weeks before a fight he will stop playing (basketball) because of injuries,” Roach told Agence France-Presse. “We negotiated that deal a long time ago. I don’t think it’s a problem.”

In the Philippines, the basketball season is ran a little differently than in the NBA or most of Europe. Instead of one long, drawn out season followed by play-offs as in the NBA, or one long season with concurrent cup or continental competitions as in Europe, the PBA conducts three successive tournaments, one shortly after the other.

The longest is the Philippine Cup, contested generally through the winter months. Then the Commissioner’s Cup will run for about six weeks thereafter, and finally the Governor’s Cup, which runs for about eight weeks into mid-summer to conclude the year in basketball.

Last year San Mig Super Coffee swept the trio of titles.

The best foreign players are typically former American college stars, such as Richard Howell, who played last year with Talk ‘n Text Tropang Texters and won the “best import” award for the Governor’s Cup. He played four years at North Carolina State in the US before playing in the NBA D-League. He’s since left the Philppines to play in the Italian top flight.

The Philippines national team is typically stocked with the PBA’s best domestic performers. They have qualified for the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain.

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Published: August 25, 2014 04:00 AM

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