The world of basketball– players, fans, and teams alike– wait with bated breaths every year for draft day. This year was especially special for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) as they welcome three new expansion teams for its 40th season.
Kia Motors made its presence felt early as the team tapped the services of eight-division, world boxing champion and Congressman, Manny Pacquiao, as head coach. During the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft held on August 24, 2014, Team Kia again made waves as they picked Cong. Pacquiao for its 11th pick in the 1st Round.
Loud cheers were heard at Robinsons Ermita as Pacman’s name was called but as earlier advised, Head Coach Manny could not grace the event due to previous commitments. Pacquiao writes history, this time in the annals of basketball, as he became the oldest rookie to be selected in the draft at 35 years old and as one of the handful of player-coaches in the league’s history.
As the rounds continued, Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), exclusive distributor of Kia Motors in the Philippines, welcomed 13 new players in the fold.
Picked in a spread of four rounds are promising rookies:
- Kyle Pascual
- Rene Pacquiao
- Kenneth Ighalo
- Paolo Taha
- Jeremy Bartolo
- Anthony Gavieres
- Richard Cole
- Victor Umali
- Jonathan Banal
- Michael Acuña
- Mark Romero
- Francis Bercede
CAC President, Ginia R. Domingo, was all smiles as she congratulated the young guns who will soon carry Team Kia on the road to basketball prominence. “As a new team in the PBA, this draft is very important to us because we’re looking to build a young, competitive team. On behalf of CAC and Kia, I wish our Team Kia players all the best in their upcoming training and conditioning with Cong. Manny and we can’t wait to see them on the hard court.”
Domingo added, “Together with the coaching staff, team management, and CAC family, we will be behind Head Coach Manny as he and the rest of Team Kia play in their maiden season. Best of luck to Team Kia; and to our rookies, welcome to the Kia family!”
Team Kia will officially take the court on October for the PBA’s 40th season but the public will soon know its complete line-up and official team moniker at the 5th Philippine International Motoring Show (PIMS) on September 18 to 21.
Watch out for more surprises on the road and now, on the hard court as Team Kia drives its way to the top!