Manny Pacquiao makes PBA debut
BULACAN, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao’s basketball career is officially underway.
Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, started for his team Kia Sorento and played the first seven minutes of the game in the opener of the 40th Season of the PBA Sunday at the Philippine Arena here.
But so far, Pacquiao’s debut didn’t get off the way he would’ve wanted it.
Pacquiao, in a playing coach role, didn’t get to attempt a shot and committed two turnovers — the first one was when he fumbled the pass from Joshua Webb before losing the ball to Blackwater center JP Erram on his next touch.
Those seven minutes might be it for Pacquiao, who has started training for his upcoming fight against Chris Algieri on November 23 in Macau, in his debut.
“Depende (It depends),” Pacquiao said in a TV interview during halftime on whether he’s going to put himself back on the floor in the second half.
The crowd cheered every time the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao got possession of the ball. Though, he got limited touches and wouldn’t receive a pass until the 7:40 mark of the first quarter.
In his first actual possession of the ball, he managed to squeeze out of a double team before opting to pass the ball up.
Erram, the former Ateneo Blue Eagle, scored the first points of the season on a hook shot.
As of posting time, Blackwater is leading Kia, 34-25, at the half.
Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee served as Kia’s muse in the elaborate opening ceremonies.