MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Mahindra's former playing coach may see action on the PBA hardcourt again.
Just as he is making his boxing return, Manny Pacquiao is likewise on the road to a pro-basketball comeback after he was activated from the Injured/Reserved list by the Mahindra Enforcer on Tuesday, August 2, according to the league's transactions page.
The newly elected senator was activated in lieu of starting guard LA Revilla, who injured his nose during practice Monday, August 1.
Head coach Chris Gavina told Rappler in a phone interview that the 5-foot-8 Revilla got elbowed in the nose and was immediately brought to a hospital near the team's practice facility before having him transferred to Cardinal Santos Medical Center, where the team doctor is a resident.
"We don't know the severity of his nose or if he needs a procedure or not. We don't know how long his timeline is for recovery," Gavina said.
Pacquiao, who was the first playing coach of two-year-old team Mahindra, played a total of just 39 minutes in 6 games in the PBA, and has made only one of his 13 total field goal attempts.
He last played a PBA game two conferences ago in November 2015.
Pacquiao was activated just in time for the Enforcer's game against Alaska on Wednesday, August 3, as they aim to maintain their spotless, league-leading 3-0 record.
Gavina, however, said it's uncertain whether Pacquiao will show up on Wednesday. Pacquiao came to a Mahindra game a week ago as a spectator, watching his team eke out a victory over defending champion San Miguel Beer.
"I'm not even sure if he'll be showing up or playing. I'm not 100% sure on that," Gavina said.
The PBA announced Pacquiao will also take Revilla's slot in the 2016 PBA All-Star Blitz Game this weekend, where PBA legends, D-League players, and current stars will team up.
Sen. @mannypacquiao will replace injured LA Revilla (broken nose) in the #2016PBAAllStar Blitz game on August 5. — PBA (@pbaconnect) August 2, 2016
Revilla's injury deals a serious blow to Mahindra's strong start in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup. He has been averaging 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the first 3 games.
"LA brings so much to our team, but throughout our preparation for this conference we've had a next-man-up mentality where the next guy needs to step up," Gavina said, adding he expects extended minutes for John Pinto, Nico Elorde, Michael Digregorio, and Hyram Bagatsing.
"And we greeted that kind of culture for out guys to be ready to step up when one of our guys [is unable to play]." – Rappler.com