Manny Pacquiao might coach Mahindra on opening game v Star

Retired boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will probably show up and coach Mahindra when the Enforcers clash with the Star Hotshots in the main game of PBA Governors Cup’s opening day on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Mahindra team manager Eric Pineda said Pacquiao, now a Philippine Senator, is originally scheduled to be with the team on opening day.

“He might (join the team against Star). Alam mo naman iyun, pero naka-schedule siya. Kung dumating siya bukas, manonood yun,” Pineda told FOX Sports on Thursday.

The Mahindra manager said Pacquiao will be flying from General Santos if ever he manages to clear his schedule for the game against the Hotshots, who’ll be led by comebacking import Marqus Blakely.

Pineda added that Pacquiao remains in game shape, saying the world’s only eight-division boxing champion still finds time to join Mahindra in practice at the Hardcourt in the posh Azure Urban Resort and Residences in Bicutan, Paranaque.

“Nasa Gen San pa siya, pero last week, naglaro din siya sa isang practice game against a college team,” he added.

The game against the Hotshots will also mark the debut of Pacquiao’s new lead assistant Chris Gavina.

Gavina used to serve as the team’s strength and conditioning coach, before eventually taking over the spot of Chito Victolero, who resigned last April.

Pacquiao’s newest coaching alter ego is fresh from a coaching clinic in Orlando, taking time to pick the brains of notable professional coaches like current Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, former Los Angeles Clippers vice president for basketball operations Kevin Eastman, Impact Basketball founder Joe Abunassar and several others.

Mahindra placed 9th in the Commissioner’s Cup with its 4-9 record.

The Enforcer though are eyeing a stronger showing this conference with American import James White, a former Georgia Tech forward and former Iranian guard Iman Zandi. – By Richard Dy

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