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Filipino ring superstar now a ‘Boston Celtic’

By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer

HOLLYWOOD?Manny Pacquiao has achieved what no other Filipino basketball player has done.

The Filipino ring icon is now an honorary member of the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics.

The honorary membership was bestowed on Pacquiao, who was presented a replica of a green-and-white Celtics jersey bearing his name and number 1, in a brief ceremony before his entourage boarded a chartered jet to Texas, on Tuesday.

Known for his passion for basketball, Pacquiao became one of the very few sportsmen to be honored by the Celtics, NBA?s winningest franchise with 17 titles, including 11 between 1957 and 1969.

One of those bestowed the same honor was Landon Turner, who led Indiana to the US NCAA championship in 1981.

Turner, however, was unable to pursue an NBA career after an automobile accident left him paralyzed in 1982.

The lasting recognition given by the Celtics is expected to inspire Pacquiao, who once owned a semi-professional team (MP GenSan Warriors) back home.

Pacquiao is also an ardent Celtics fan. He was deeply touched and honored when Celtics superstars Kevin Garnett, Rey Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo watched him wrest the World Boxing Council light-weight title from David Diaz and then congratulated him in the dugout in 2008.

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