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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Manny Pacquiao: ‘Yes, I’m going to help’ Philippines in Fiba World Cup bid

Manny Pacquiao confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that he would travel to Tokyo with the Philippines delegation aiming to win hosting rights to the 2019 basketball World Cup.
Manny Pacquiao shown with his Philippines Basketball Association team, Kia Motors. Jay Directo / AFP
Manny Pacquiao shown with his Philippines Basketball Association team, Kia Motors. Jay Directo / AFP

Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday he would promote the Philippines’ bid to host the 2019 International Basketball Federation (Fiba) World Cup.

“Yes, I’m going to Tokyo with the Philippine delegation to help in our bid to host Fiba 2019,” he said in a statement.

Pacquiao, 36, said he would travel next month to the Japanese capital where Fiba would announce the host.

The basketball-crazy Philippines qualified for last year’s Fiba World Cup in Spain, finishing 21st.

It faces stiff competition from Asian giants China as hosts for the 2019 event, according to the Fiba website.

Pacquiao, who has gained worldwide fame for holding boxing world titles in eight weight divisions, is also an avid basketball fan.

Last year he controversially signed on as playing coach of a neophyte team in the highly-competitive Philippines Basketball Association.

However the 5ft 7in (1.69-metre) Pacquiao has been underwhelming on the hardcourt, playing just for a few minutes in each game despite cheering fans in the bleachers.

Pacquiao has parlayed his boxing fame into a fortune in showbiz, as a commercial endorser and even in politics, winning election as the congressman of a district in the poverty-stricken southern Philippines.

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