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Narvasa says Pacquiao "a boxer, not a basketball player"

PBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

DUBAI--PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa expressed his sentiments on Manny Pacquiao during the press conference of the scheduled PBA games in the said Arab emirate.

In a report by Gulf News, when asked on why the Mahindra playing coach begged off from the presser, Narvasa said, “You have to understand that Mr. Pacquiao is a personality in himself, he has many engagements, and first of all he is not a basketball player, he is a boxer.”

Pacquiao, who told the commissioner that he was not feeling well, drew criticism from local reporters for not showing up.

Narvasa added, "His many responsibilities, not only as a sports icon but also a lawmaker prevent him going full-time into one activity, and the PBA understands the situation, but hopefully, eventually, he will be able to find out what he should be concentrating on very soon.”

Further asked on his evaluation about the former eight-division world boxing champ as a baller, the commissioner answered, “Well, to me as a commissioner, there are pros and cons. First of all he brings a lot of variety, Manny is a sports icon in himself and whether he goes into the PBA or not he will draw crowds, but the whole concentration of the PBA has to be basketball excellence. That’s where I put myself in. I have to look at the interests of the PBA in excelling in basketball. If him coming into the team helps Mahindra do that then of course we have to show him support and if it does not then I think it could also be detrimental in the long term."

Pacquiao and the rest of the Enforcers will take on the Alaska Aces in the first of two matches to be played at the Al Wasl Arena on Saturday and Sunday (Philippine Time).

Former Star import Daniel Orton hit out at Pacquiao earlier in the year for joining professional basketball, calling him "a joke."

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