Roach on Pacquiao’s PBA opponents: Go easy on Manny

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
GENERAL SANTOS, PHILIPPINES - SEPTEMBER 28: Manny Pacquiao dribbles as he plays basketball after his training session at Calumpang Sports Complex on September 28, 2012 in General Santos, Philippines. Pacquiao will take on Mexican Juan Manual Marquez on December 8th, 2012 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Manny Pacquiao’s debut as a playing coach in the Philippine Basketball Association will go on as planned on October 19 as the two-sport athlete got the green light to play from trainer Freddie Roach.

“Yeah, he asked my permission to play in the opening day for the fans, so I told him I'll allow him to see action for only one minute," Roach told Eddie Alinea of PhilBoxing.com

“(If he plays more than a minute) I myself will take him out. I'm coming with him to Manila, sit on the team bench and act as the head coach with him as my assistant, " joked the American trainer. “He can play as long as he wishes, if that's what it will take to make the fans happy. I just told him to take care not to get injured.”

Pacquiao is already deep in training for his upcoming fight in Macau next month. He will defend his WBO welterweight title against Chris Algieri. Weeks away from Pacquiao’s second match of 2014, the trainer wants his star student to be extra careful on the basketball court.

"Any kind of injury that can postpone or completely cancel his fight can mean the end of his boxing career and all the years he's been in this profession of choice," Roach said. "I know how tough and sometimes rough basketball games here are and all I beg his would-be rivals is to please to take care of Manny. You can block his shots, steal the ball away, but please don't hurt him, if you, indeed, treasure him as your boxing icon.

"Like boxing, Manny's doing this not only for his passion for basketball, but to make basketball fans happy," he said. "Much as I don't want him to play, especially in this period of preparations for a coming fight, I just can't stop him completely. He loves basketball so much in the same way that he loves boxing, so I'm giving that to him."

The coach however clarified that the permit is only for the opening game."The permit is only for the opening day. We had just shifted training to a higher level and I don't want that interrupted," he emphasized although he didn’t clarify if he’ll allow Pacquiao to coach while in training.

After their opening game against fellow expansion team Blackwater Elite, KIA will have seven more games before Pacquiao’s fight on November 23.

PBA Commissioner Chito Salud also talked to Pacquiao about steering clear of an risk of injury in the upcoming opener.

“He told me that he’ll play for a few minutes just to make the fans happy and I told him ‘Please, do not get injured,’” Salud said.

“Manny is just fulfilling his dream of becoming a PBA player. Manny is smart. He will not place his team or the league in an embarrassing situation.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting