Boxing is not the only sport that Manny Pacquiao loves. He is also into basketball and is actually a certified professional basketball player. The fact that he is popular has helped him get into the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), something that has garnered criticism.

Being a senator and a professional boxer, Pacquiao has not really made an impact for his current team – Kia Picanto. He is still technically the head coach of the team though assistant Chris Gavina has done most of the work. Now, Pac-Man ventures into something bigger, putting up a basketball league called the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

Conflict of interest

While Pacquiao does anything he wants, being affiliated with the recently announced league begs to ask several questions. At the top of the list is a potential conflict of interest seeing how he is part of the PBA.

Assuming that is covered, there is that question of presence. Already busy with his political and boxing commitments, how can Pacquiao push a basketball league that would cover various regions of the Philippines.

There are deputies involved (reportedly from another league set to debut in September or October), hinting that the boxer/senator will likely leave it up to them. For those who have followed Pacquiao and his multitude of projects, leaving it to the hands of other people is nothing new.

Another distraction in the works

As most know, Pacquiao’s stars went down the moment he ventured into show business, basketball and politics. While he means well, the fact is that the 38-year-old can only do so much.

The basketball league intends to give Filipinos in provinces a chance to show their talents. There will be reportedly 12 teams though it would have helped if they had identified which regions already have rosters ready for the league.

As far as the planned rematch with Jeff Horn, Pacquiao mentioned via the Manila Bulletin that he is looking for one last fight. The catch is that he wants it (preferably) to be held in the Philippines.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum already shot that down that a couple of weeks ago, likely the reason why nothing has progressed.

The business relationship between the two has long been questioned though both claims all is well.

With his current political duties and new basketball league, Pacquiao has now added more things to worry about. He may have people helping him but the fact remains that he needs to get involved. So far, he has kept his head above water but the focus is severely in question.

As for his league, critics have questioned its credibility. From the looks of it, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is banking on Pacquiao’s popularity to get off the ground. It has gotten the right attention but actually rising against other hoop leagues is another question.