By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Oct. 24, 2014
LOS ANGELES – After a sparring session in the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach took the phone lines, speaking to international and mainstream media about his upcoming fight with undefeated American Chris Algieri.
While he gave an update on his General Santos based training camp, the most talked about topic was Pacqcuiao’s pro basketball debut.
Pacquiao, the playing coach of PBA team Kia, went scoreless in seven minutes of action last weekend. He will continue his basketball career after his fight with Algieri.
“It’s good experience to play in a professional basketball game like that, and I didn’t play zone, I just play to make encouragement to my team – that’s why we won the first game,” said Pacquiao. “I’m very focused right now on my training, and after the fight I will come back to my team and focus being head coach of the team. “
While many professional sports teams put limits on their athlete’s physical activities to avoid injury, Top Rank’s CEO says there is no concern with Paccquiao. Bob Arum even joked about Pacquiao trying out for the NBA as well.
“An injury would’ve really wreaked havoc with the fight, so I was not very pleased,” said Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank. “But everybody assured us, Manny has assured Freddie, Freddie has assured me that that’s it. After he does the fight on November 22nd, if he wants to tryout for the New York Knicks…”
With his pro basketball career on hold, Pacquiao has been sparring in General Santos against partners whom coach Freddie Roach believes are better fighters than Pacquiao’s November 22nd opponent.
“This is the best start we’ve ever had, and sparring has been going very well,” said Roach. “We’ve had over 34 rounds of sparring so far. We have great sparring partners.”