Manny Pacquiao didn’t wait long to notch his first ever career victory as playing coach of Kia Sorento.
On his team’s debut against fellow expansion squad Blackwater Sports, the People’s Champion ably guided his team to an 80-66 come-from-behind victory at the packed Philippine Arena.
A new record crowd of more than 50,000 was set on the opening of the PBA’s 40th season, but Pacquiao and his team made sure they won’t be left behind in terms of scoring a milestone win.
“Inuna naming yung depensa, pangalawa na lang yung opensa, sinabi ko kasi na i-execute naming yun ng mabuti,” Pacquiao said during the post game interview.
Pacquiao’s deputy, Glenn Capacio, added that having a defensive mindset is the main priority of their head coach.
“Marami siyang inputs sa amin, lalo na sa defense, kasi ayaw niya yung mabagal ang players. As much as possible, gusto niya naka-pressure kaagad sa backcourt so it’s really a must na kundisyon rin ang mga players,” added Capacio.
But after helping his team to its first franchise victory, Pacquiao will have to skip playing in the next games of Kia Sorento, including their much-awaited encounter with Barangay Ginebra.
“Baka hindi na muna ako lalaro kasi nagpi-prepare na ako sa next fight ko. Malamang after the fight na,” added Pacquiao.