BELIEVE it or not but Manny Pacquiao will become a a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) coach only because, yes, he loves basketball.

I love the game, too, even before Pacquiao was born 34 years ago. But how come I am not a PBA coach up to now?

Some are excited over Pacquiao’s forthcoming new job. Some are not. Some are laughing. Some are curious. Some are cynical. Some are merely shrugging their shoulders.

You can say anything you want, do anything you want. But you can’t do anything about it anymore. It is now absolutely clear: Pacquiao will start his PBA coaching job on October 19, the opening day of the league’s 40th season.

“It’s all go,” said Ginia Domingo, the president of Kia Motors. “There’s no stopping us now. Manny Pacquiao will be our head coach starting in the 40th season of the PBA.”

Over pizza and coffee, Ginia confided to me that Pacquiao has formed his coaching staff and the boxing icon will shortly start holding tryouts for the Kia basketball team.

“He is abroad right now,” said Ginia of Pacquiao. “His staff wanted to hold player tryouts but Pacquiao stopped them. He wants to personally supervise the tryouts and pick for himself the players for his team.”

Ginia told me Pacquiao will make his new job as his top priority.

“He told us that before his contract expires, he will give us at least one title,” Ginia said. “We are giving him a free rein and for three years, he has an absolute control of the team.”

Isn’t Pacquiao a very busy man in that as world welterweight boxing champion and a congressman at that, his job and commitments are up to his neck?

“Well, he said it’s just a matter of time management,” Ginia said. “We have complete trust and confidence in him.”

Ginia said that when the job was offered to Pacquiao, the eight-division world boxing champion said: “Before I went to boxing, basketball was my first love. Yes, I accept the challenge.”

Do you know that Pacquiao is not very particular with how much he is going to be paid as Kia coach?

“He is a gentleman to the hilt,” said Ginia. “Very humble. He does not even want to talk about money matters. He said he just wants to form a fighting team and then coach the squad to victory.”

Give me a break, Manny.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)