Pacquiao still has to enter PBA draft even as ‘playing coach’

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MANILA -- Even as a “playing coach,” Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao still has to go through the PBA Rookie draft.


Pacquiao said in an interview with sports website on Thursday that he has reached an agreement with Kia Motors to be its head coach for the next PBA season.

“Yes, I’ll play in the PBA this October. I’ll be a playing-coach,” said Pacquiao in Filipino in the report.

“They say rules may allow you to play for the team if you’re a playing coach. So that’s what we’re looking into right now,” the 35-year-old congressman also said.

But according to PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial, the league rules will allow only Pacquiao to play if he enters the draft.

“Basta coach, pwede, pero pag naglaro ka sa PBA kailangan dumaan ka sa draft (He can be a coach but if anyone wants to play in the PBA, he needs to join the draft),” Marcial said in a phone call to

If Pacquiao enters the draft, any team will get a chance to pick him up. Only through direct-hire concession, which the PBA board of Governors didn’t grant the expansion teams, will Kia Motors get to land Pacquiao directly.

But Marcial cleared that the PBA office hasn’t received any formal notification from Kia Motors, one of the three newest teams accepted into the league.

Pacquiao expressed his serious interest in being a professional hoops player after defeating Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, Nevada last month.


The last playing coach in the PBA was the basketball legend Robert Jaworski for crowd-favorite Ginebra.