Manny Pacquiao scores 1 point in PBA pre-season debut

Manny Pacquaio makes his PBA debut for the KIA Sorentos. (PBA Images)
Manny Pacquaio makes his PBA debut for the KIA Sorentos. (PBA Images)

Manny Pacquiao made his Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) pre-season debut with the KIA Sorentos in a game against fellow expansion team Blackwater Sports in Binan, Laguna on Saturday night.

Blackwater won, 88-77, in the 2014 PBA Holcim Liga ng Bayan, a pre-season tournament used by teams to gear up for the upcoming PBA season.

The eight-division and current WBO welterweight champion started the game for the team that he also coaches. In ten minutes on the floor, Pacquiao scored one point and grabbed a rebound. He also committed two turnovers.

One of the turnovers came when Pacquiao brought the ball down and tried to elude his defender with a crossover and behind-the-back dribble combo. His defender, veteran Chris Timberlake, read Pacquiao's next move well and stole the ball from the incoming PBA rookie. The left-hander took a triple as his first shot of the game but it fell short.

The 35-year-old Pacquiao has always considered basketball his second sport. He has played alongside NBA legends Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller in outside the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. Last month Pacquiao even played some hoops in the practice facility of the Golden State Warriors.

The Pacman has long bankrolled a basketball team called the MP Warriors, a squad that competed in smaller commercial leagues. Pacquiao would often start the game, play most of the first quarter and sit out the rest.

The boxer made it clear that he would only play spot minutes for his team as he’s also preparing for the first defense of his WBO title in Macau next month against American Chris Algieri.

KIA and Blackwater will meet again on October 19 at the Philippine Arena in the opening game that will usher in the PBA's 40th season.