Manny Pacquiao tapping World Peace for Kia | Inquirer Sports

Manny Pacquiao tapping World Peace for Kia

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:31 AM August 28, 2014

NANJING—Former NBA enforcer Metta World Peace will be tapped by boxing champion Manny Pacquiao to play for the Kia Sorentos in one of the Philippine Basketball Association’s import-flavored conferences this coming season.

“He’s a close friend. He’s here in China and we’re going to get him as our import,” said Pacquiao, who will be the playing coach of the Sorentos.

The eight-division champ and Sarangani representative said World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, could help Kia boost its stock either in the Governors’ Cup or Commissioner’s Cup.

A ruthless defensive ace during his NBA days, World Peace is presently playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association and is in the process of again changing his name to The Pandas Friend.

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Pacquiao was in Shanghai on Tuesday promoting his WBO welterweight title fight with Chris Algieri in an international media tour that includes stops in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York.

Listed at 6-foot-7, the 34-year-old World Peace was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 while playing for the Indiana Pacers. He’s known for his eccentric and outspoken behavior on and off the court.

The 14-year NBA veteran helped the Lakers win the 2010 NBA Finals with Kobe Bryant, Paul Gasol, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom.

Asked about the PBA salary of World Peace, the WBO welterweight champion said: “I’ll take care of it.”

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The Sorentos are one of two expansion ballclubs when the 40th PBA season opens Oct. 19 starting with the all-Filipino Philippine Cup.

Pacquiao said it would be thrilling to watch the Sorentos play the Barangay Ginebra Kings, the most popular team in the league, on opening day.

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TAGS: Kia Sorentos, Manny Pacquiao, Metta World Peace, Philippine Basketball Association

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