F Pacquiao plays ball, skips road work in Baguio - Powcast Sports

Pacquiao plays ball, skips road work in Baguio

source: Nick Giongco | mb.com.ph

BAGUIO CITY — On the eve of his well-applauded four-round sparring with Michael Medina, Manny Pacquiao played a game of basketball with his home team from General Santos against a local squad, something trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning coach Alex Ariza have objected to but have been unable to restrict.

“It (basketball) is not a substitute for morning roadwork,” said Ariza on Saturday after Pacquiao went four furious rounds with Medina in preparation for the Filipino’s Nov. 13 showdown with Antonio Margarito in Dallas.

Pacquiao was supposed to run at Burnham Park but he did not show up.

Ariza is so scared that Pacquiao might get cut, sprain an ankle or hurt his hand, leg or elbow that he has “stopped watching those games.”

”I am keeping my fingers crossed (that he doesn’t get injured while playing),” stressed Ariza, crossing his fingers for emphasis.

Roach also opposes Pacquiao’s love for the game of hoops even while in training camp but admits he has been unable to curtail it.

“I am not his babysitter. Manny is his own man,” said Roach, confessing that he feels uneasy whenever Pacquiao swaps his boxing trunks and boxing boots to a pair of baggy shorts and hi-cut shoes.

But Roach said he and Pacquiao have come to a compromise agreement.

“I told him that there should be no more basketball the last four weeks of training,” said Roach, smiling. “And he tells me, okay. I have to negotiate with him.”

Roach was pleased with the way Pacquiao conducted himself against Medina, who at 5-11 is a Margarito clone.

Pacquiao utilized his fancy footwork and lightning-quick reflexes in bringing his 24-year-old Mexican sparmate to school before a sizeable group of onlookers and members of the media.

The media was told not to shoot or even take still photos except for American journalist Peter Owen Nelson, who is doing a book on Roach, for fear that excerpts might get leaked to the camp of Margarito.

Pacquiao landed his power blows on Medina, making use of his trademark head and shoulder movement to surprise Medina with solid lead lefts and hard rights hooks to the head.

“He’s fast,” said Medina shortly after tasting Pacquiao’s fists of fury.

After the workout, Pacquiao packed his bags and traveled to Manila for a speaking engagement.

Pacquiao, who has now logged a total of eight rounds after doing four with Glen Tapia last Thursday, promised Roach that he will be back Sunday night.


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