Filipino boxing superstar's involvement in sports other than doing
Manny Pacquiao has set a benchmark for boxing by being the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight classes, making him a future shoo-in in the boxing hall of fame. Unknown to many fight fans, Pacquiao also competes in other sports outside boxing.
Multi-sport athlete defined
The term multi-sport athlete refers to someone who competes in two or more sports at a high level. These athletes often start playing at a young age and decide which sport to focus on when athletic recruitment comes along the way. In the US, it is common to see athletes play for two varsity teams or be drafted in two different professional leagues.
Allen Iverson, for example, is a gifted athlete, played both varsity basketball and football for Bethel High School. He led the basketball and football teams to Virginia state championships and was eventually awarded as the Associated Press High School Player of the Year award in both sports before deciding to concentrate on Basketball after being recruited to play in NCAA Division I by Georgetown University.
Scott Burrell, who used to play with Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls, was drafted both in the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.
Pacquiao is known to be a longtime competitor in local billiard tournaments in the Philippines. He is also sponsor and host of MP Cup International Pool Tournament where he also plays. The tournament also featured world known elite cue masters like Ralph Souquet, Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante, Ronnie Alcano, Thorsten Hohmann, Mika Immonen and other world rated players.
Though we have seen some video footages of him exhibiting his decent touches playing the table and proved that he can also give quality players a run for their money, we have never seen him advance to the latter phase of competitions he joins. In the 2014 edition of the tournament, he narrowly lost to American John Plunkett by a score of 9-8 during the opening day of the tourney.
He entered professional basketball and made history in 2014 after expansion team Kia Sorento drafted him as the 11th overall pick in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) rookie draft, making him the oldest rookie to be drafted and play in the league at 35-years-old.
The team is currently called the Mahindra Floodbusters and have Pacquiao as a playing coach, although an interim coach calls the shots for the team as he only shows up on games occasionally. Their squad gained instant popularity upon the entry to the league, something that new teams don't usually get.
Pacquiao so far has played a total of nine games in two seasons with the franchise and averaged 0.78 points, 0.22 assists and 0.44 rebounds per game.
Prior to his stint in the PBA, Pacquiao was a team owner and player for the MP Warriors in the now defunct Liga Pilipinas. Also, he used to run a team in the PBA Developmental League, the MP Hotel.
Obviously a crowd favorite as fans would go crazy and chant his name every time he touches the basketball or even when a teammate sets the play or look for an open pass, prompting that they would want to see more court action for Pacquiao.