Pacquiao officially applies for PBA Rookie Draft
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao took one big step closer to making a reality out of his bid to become a playing coach in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
KIA Motors team manager Eric Pineda confirmed Friday, July 18 during the PBA Expansion Draft that Pacquiao has officially submitted his application for the PBA Rookie Draft happening on August 24.
"The documents are already with the Commissioner," he said. "Just today."
The 8-division boxing champion Pacquiao, who is also the head coach of KIA, had previously expressed his desire to become playing coach when it was announced that he would steer one of the new franchises entering the PBA next season.
However, Pacquiao joining the draft doesn't necessarily mean he will automatically play for KIA.
Since KIA will be picking 11th in the first round of the draft, Pacquiao will be free for the 10 other teams to select.
"We talked about that (in the team) but we spoke to the Commissioner and he said he will handle it his way so we leave it to the Commissioner," said Pineda when asked whether there is already a gentlemen's agreement with the rest of the league's teams to not select Pacquiao.
PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, on the other hand, responded by saying that Pacquiao will go through all the regular procedures of a rookie applicant.
"We welcome the draft application of Congressman Manny Pacquiao for the 2014 Rookie Draft," Salud said.
"We wish him luck and as he previously committed, he will go through the normal, regular procedure to get a shot at playing in the PBA. And we in the PBA will also observe all the rules that ought to apply to rookie applicants."
For the PBA Rookie Draft, team KIA will get the 11th pick, as decided by a coin flip during the expansion draft, followed by Blackwater at 12th and 13th and then KIA once again at 14th in a process called alternating priority picks. Come the third round and the rest of the succeeding rounds during the draft, all picks will belong to KIA and Blackwater.
Both KIA and Blackwater have already formed their initial teams via the expansion draft, selecting 12 players each. Former two-time PBA MVP Danny Ildefonso and former FEU standout Reil Cervantes led the expansion draft picks.
The 35-year-old Pacquiao of General Santos City is scheduled to defend his WBO welterweight title against New Yorker Chris Algieri on November 23 at the Venetian Resort in Macau. – Rappler.com