LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and other big names. Like any other icon, Manny Pacquiao’s name will be up there, mentioned in the same breath as those superstars.
That’s the tier Purefoods coach Tim Cone ranks the Filipino.
“I think without a doubt, Manny Pacquiao is a freak of nature just like LeBron James and Shaq O’Neal. They do things nobody else can do,” Cone told media during the post game interview. “He should be up there along with these guys, maybe on top of them.”
So it’s no surprise that Cone waited for the best moment right after his Purefoods team barely beat Kia – a walk to center court to shake hands with the People’s Champion.
“Honestly, the most important part of the game for me was to be able to shake the hands of Manny. I was telling him how thrilled I am to shake his hand,” added Cone.
Cone admitted that Pacquiao’s presence was the main reason why they couldn’t put away Kia Sorento, which played an inspired game all night long.
“I thought they really played an inspired game. It was tough to meet their intensity, their inspiration. We just didn’t have it throughout the game,” added Cone.
Kia was able to go toe-to-toe with Purefoods and even led by as much as nine points until the Hotshots banked on their experience and forced a spate of turnovers on their younger rivals.
Photo by Nuki Sabio of PBA Images