Manila Vanilla

What it's like to be a U.S. Fulbright scholar, basketball player, journalist, and the whitest man in Metro Manila.

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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

New Yorker by birth, shipped across the globe to the world of malls, shanty-towns, patronage, corruption, basketball and a curious burnt-toast smell that wafts around at dusk

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Balunbalunan sure tastes nice on the Foreman Grill

There are so many reasons to adore Manny Pacquiao. In these recent remarks to ESPN boxing honcho Dan Rafael, (in the sidebar), PacMan has given me one more reason to smile. In the spirit of Halloween, Rafael asked both Pacquiao and his November 14 opponent Miguel Cotto which boxer they'd most like to dress up as. Cotto said Muhammad Ali for all the obvious reasons. Here's how Pacquiao responded:

I would be 'Big' George Foreman. Not only because it would give me an opportunity to win a world title in an eighth weight division but in a division I would never be big enough to grow into on my own. Plus, I would be big enough to play power forward in the NBA.

For the record, "Big" George is six-foot-three and a half. Now it's possible Manny may have trouble judging height for anyone over six feet, but even though George weighs enough to bump uglies with Rick Mahorn, he's still about six inches short of the standard height for NBA power forwards. Foreman's height, however, is spot on for the four position in another league Pacquiao may have heard of -- the PBA.

Pacquiao's well-chronicled love for basketball is a constant source of amusement. HBO's video of his private games in Baguio -- the ones that drive trainer Freddie Roach crazy -- gives a hint of what kind of player Pacman is, and it doesn't look like he's a natural power forward. We see an awkward behind the back dribble and some hideous jump shot form, but like almost any Pinoy baller, he's a whiz at double-clutch lay-ups with plenty of pektos. (Basketball comes in around the 13:20 mark of this video.)


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