Manny Pacquiao’s decision to play hoops professionally doesn’t concern Top Rank chief Bob Arum.
“As long as it doesn’t interfere with his boxing, it will be okay for him to play basketball,” said Arum, the 82-year-old Hall of Fame promoter when asked about Pacquiao’s impending foray into the Philippine Basketball Association as a playing coach for new team Kia Motors.
Arum believes Pacquiao’s involvement in basketball won’t be as deep as his commitment to boxing, the sport that has made the Filipino an icon in the eyes of sports fans from around the world.
While Pacquiao, 35, is raring to suit up and dribble his way to the basket, Arum thinks the fighting congressman’s stint is more of a show to enhance the growing popularity of the Korean car brand in the Philippines.
Columbia Auto Corp., the distributor of Kia vehicles in the country, has given Pacquiao the free hand to form a team in time for the opening of the All-Filipino Cup in the third week of October.
To beef up his think tank, Pacquiao has acquired the services of former pro and Globalport head coach Glenn Capacio and there will be more specialists who will be hired in the coming weeks.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, will return to the ring on Nov. 8, according to Arum and that Macau, which hosted Pacquiao’s easy win over Brandon Rios last year at the CotaiArena, has expressed its desire to stage another headliner.
Arum has a scheduled meeting with the casino bigwigs of The Venetian, which houses the CotaiArena this week.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks