MANILA, Philippines – For Grand Slam-winning coach Tim Cone, Manny Pacquiao's entry into the PBA signals "exciting times" for the league, but he also believes that it will be an eye-opener for people as to how difficult it is to both play and coach in the PBA.
Pacquiao was recently officially named as the head coach of expansion team KIA Motors, and it was also announced by the team manager of KIA Motors that the boxer is set to join the upcoming Rookie Draft.
Cone, fresh off winning a Grand Slam with the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers, was asked about the upcoming season and the possibility of coaching against Pacquiao.
"As for Manny, Coach Manny, player Manny, he's gonna add some excitement to the game," said Cone.
"I just think that, you know, I think that people don't really know how good the NBA is. The NBA is really good. The coaching there, the playing there, it's really good. It is much better there than we can ever imagine," he added.
"And I think for us here, I think people don't realize how good the PBA is, how good these players are, how good the coaching is, how much strategy goes on, how much discipline and effort goes on," he continued.
Cone said Pacquiao's foray into the PBA will help people realize these things about the league.
"You bring a guy, an iconic figure like Manny Pacquiao and bring him into the league, and I think people will realize just how good this league is," he said.
"I mean, it will be an eye-opener for everybody, honestly, and I think it's neat."
A PBA.ph report quoting KIA Motors team manager Eric Pineda said Pacquiao decided to join the PBA Draft after all, following a two-week vacation, as well as a meeting with Commissioner Chito Salud.
"Hawak ko na 'yung papeles niya. Magpapa-draft na siya. Sasali na siya sa draft," Pineda said. "Oras na sabihin na niyang ipapasa ko ito, dadalhin ko na."