Army loans Manny Pacquiao to Global FC
AFTER snagging the Philippine Army’s best goalkeeper, Presidents’ Cup-bound Global FC has snagged the army’s most famous reserve officer—Lt. Col. Emmannuel Dapidran Pacquiao, formerly known as the champion boxer Manny Pacquiao.
This is the latest major signing of Global FC, which got Jason de Jong, Edward Sacapano and Joshua Beloya for the AFC Presidents Cup, a tournament that allows only two foreigners per club.
The signing, which was confirmed by Global FC spokesperson Avril Folle, will be formally announced today at Na Ning's new branch in Bacolod City today.
“Waray ako sarabutan hit imo ginyiyinakan ngan ayaw ako api-apiha hito,” Global FC owner Dan Palami said in a text message to this writer.
Though he gained fame as a boxer, the part-time actor, singer, endorser, TV host and preacher who sometimes shows up for his part- time gig in Congress, is a renaissance man of sorts when it comes to sport--at least that's what his PR folks say--and has played semi-pro basketball in Liga Pilipinas and has also joined professional billiard events.
Football, according to his management team, is his latest gig.
"Nagpakita sa akin ang Diyos at sabi niya ito daw ang dapat gawin ni Manny," Manny’s famous Pac-Mom said.
One of the many, many, many members of Pacquiao’s management team said this move was planned so Manny can corner the growing endorsement market for football-related products, currently dominated by Phil Younghusband.
“We will be coming out with Manny Pacquiao football shoes, shin guards, crotch-guards, mouth-guards, hair-guards, and the most anticipated product ever, ‘the ego-guard,” said the insider, who says he knows someone who knows someone who is an uncle of someone in Team Pacquiao.
Pacquiao, who lost in his last two fights, to Timothy Bradley and to bitter rival Juan Manuel Marquez, was reported to have taken a liking to football after seeing one of the matches of one of the AFP teams in the UFL.
"Oy, kaya ko yan ah," Pacquiao, an army reservist, reportedly told a close associate after seeing a defender clothesline a Kaya FC striker.
Pacquiao, who was enlisted as sergeant on April 27, 2006, and promoted to (please take a deep breath) Technical Sergeant on Dec. 1, 2006, then to Master Sergeant on Oct. 7, 2007 after beating Marco Antonio Barrera, then to Senior Master sergeant on May 4, 2009, then straight to Lt. Colonel on Oct. 14, 2011, was reportedly offered a starting spot in the Army team but said he wanted to join a championship team, not the whipping boys who love to whip.
“Talo na nga ako sa boksing, tapus sa talunan pa ako sasali?” he said.
At first, the Global FC owner rejected the idea but was persuaded after a few conditions were put in. Though unconfirmed, among the conditions is that any player of an AFP team who plays dirty will have to go one round with Pacquiao before he is allowed to play, any UFL official who makes a wrong call that leads to a goal, or a goal disallowed, will have to train with Pacquiao for two days before he gets his whistle back.
National team members who get red carded for hitting will have to go one round with Pacquiao, while those who get sent off for second motion will have to survive a 30-second drill where they will have to defend themselves against Pacquiao on the ropes. That drill is designed so they can sneak in a punch without being seen.
Bobby Pacquiao, more known as the other Pacquiao, will also train a few Global FC players on the “art of selling a phantom low blow.”
“Marunong sila, pero kailangan pa ng konting hasa,” Bobby said.
As a final incentive, the ringside tickets, hotel and airfare that used to go to members of Team Pacquiao Preachers will now go to members of Global FC.
Aside from the Pacquiao acquisition, Global FC is expected to make further announcements in the next few days to address rumors it will get OJ Porteria, or re-activate the oft-injured Denis Wolf for the tournament.
Meanwhile, to boost Global FC in the Presidents' Cup tournament, which will be held in Cebu, Mayor Mike Rama has agreed to rename the Cebu City Sports Center to the Global FC Stadium.
Bob Guerrero, the ABS CBN commentator for Azkals matches and a Yahoo writer, will also sing the national anthem during the games, with Cedelf Tupas, Ricky Olivares and Rafa Garcia as back-up.
San Miguel Beer has also promised to fill the Olympic-size swimming pool at the soon-to-be-named Global FC Stadium with beer if Global wins its first game. Only those who know how to swim will be allowed in the pool.
And finally, fans who will cheer/sing/chant nonstop from the first minute until the final whistle will get special Global FC in the President's Cup shirts for succeeding games.