Mahindra playing-coach Manny Pacquiao announced that he would give a P100,000 reward to each of his players if their team will become the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup champion.
“If God will allow us to win the title this conference, I will provide each player P100,000 as bonus. I believe we can win the title,” Pacquiao said during a meeting with his teammates over the weekend.
Pacquiao also promised the 23-year-old import James White an additional $20,000 if they ruled the Governor’s Cup.
“I will give you $20,000 if you give us our first ever title,” Pacquiao told the import who boasts of an average of 25 points and 15 rebounds in seven games.
After scoring his first ever three-point shot in their 97-88 win against Blackwater on Sunday, Pacquiao reiterated his desire to win the team’s first-ever title.
“It’s not only making it to the playoff round but winning the title. Our goal is to become a champion and that is doable. We are all happy because we’ve won after coming from two losses,” Pacquiao told reporters after the game.
Asked about his plans after posting a career-high four points, Pacquiao said: “I will score in double figures next maybe 10 points.”
Pacquiao also revealed that he gave P50,000 to each member of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran team that won the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball championship last year. Pacquiao was Letran’s team manager then.
Mahindra’s assistant coach Chris Gavina said that though he is thankful of Pacquiao’s generosity, the money is not important but the pride in winning the franchise’s first-ever title.
“That’s a great incentive for our players for it boosts their morale,” Gavina told The Times in a phone interview. “But we have to maintain our one game at a time approach.”
Mahindra is currently sharing the No.2 spot with Barangay Ginebra that is also carrying a 5-2 win-loss record.
PBA Deputy Commissioner and Operation Chief Ricky Santos said that the league doesn’t impose limitation on the amount of incentives received by any player.
“There’s a limit in won game bonuses, but there’s no limit in championship bonuses even if a team owner decides to give five cars each to his players,” he said.
Meanwhile, reigning champion San Miguel Beer will be aiming for a fifth victory when it battles Alaska today at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen, with a 4-2 win-loss record, will meet the Aces in the second game at 7: 15 p.m. after the match between the Northern Luzon Expressway Road Warriors and the Meralco Bolts at 4:15 p.m.
“We must avoid a second straight loss because we really wanted to stay in the Top Four,” San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria told The Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. “The problem is AZ (Reid), June Mar (Fajardo) and Chris (Ross) are not 100 percent healthy.”
“Arwind (Santos) is coming off an injury, while Gabby Espinas is still injured. I’m hoping the other players will step up.”
The Beermen are currently No. 4 behind No. 2 Mahindra and No. 3 Barangay Ginebra while unbeaten Talk ‘N Text remains No. 1.