Sports


Smart reaffirms support for Manny Pacquiao




Posted on April 27, 2015


WITH THEIR partnership dating back some 10 years now, Smart Communications, Inc. reaffirmed its support to Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao as he takes on the biggest fight of his professional career against undefeated American Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 3.

In a Skype call held at the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) offices in Makati City last Friday, Smart Communications Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan relayed his group’s continued backing to the boxing champion who is currently in Los Angeles, California, preparing for his much-awaited fight.

During the call, Mr. Pangilinan offered some advice to Mr. Pacquiao, particularly on maintaining his focus.

“Don’t get frustrated. [Mayweather] will intentionally disrupt your game plan but you should keep your focus,” he said.

On the possibility of having a second fight with Mr. Mayweather, and to be held in the Philippines, Mr. Pangilinan told Mr. Pacquiao his group is ready to give its support to it anytime.

Mr. Pangilinan ended the call by giving words of encouragement to Mr. Pacquiao, saying, “Good luck and plenty of prayers for you.”

BEYOND BOXING
Asked by BusinessWorld later on the significance of a Pacquiao victory on the overall sports landscape in the country, Mr. Pangilinan said “it goes beyond boxing.”

“Manny (Pacquiao) himself feels that this particular fight against Mayweather goes beyond the fight itself. Obviously, it is very important to him and the country,” Mr. Pangilinan said.

“It is really saying that he is fighting for our people, which is really commendable,” he added.

To rally behind Mr. Pacquiao, Smart, a subsidiary of PLDT, is encouraging Filipinos to use their mobile devices to let “Pacman” feel their support by taking to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SugodManny while having the chance to win Pacquiao-autographed merchandise.

The company also launched a Web page dedicated to the Pacquiao-Mayweather battle (smart.com.ph/sugodmanny) where people can get blow-by-blow updates about the fight.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld. -- Michael Angelo S. Murillo