MANILA (AFP) - World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao resumed his Philippine pro basketball career on Wednesday with a crushing defeat that extended his team's losing streak to eight games.
Three days after dominating American Chris Algieri in the ring, Pacquiao suited up as coach of the Kia Sorento team but did not see action on the court.
Pacquiao's team lost by 11 points to the more experienced and more popular Purefoods Star Hotshots after leading by as many as six points in the third quarter.
"I am here to support my team. I hope my presence boosts their morale," he told AFP at his team's dug-out before the game, which was broadcast on national television.
"I don't feel any pain in my body from the fight (with Algieri)," said Pacquiao, who had a visible bruise under his left eye.
The 35-year-old told his team to improve on their rebounding in an animated pep talk that was preceded by a prayer session.
Pacquiao, the shortest player on the court that night at 1.69m, wore a jacket over his red jersey with the words "head coach" emblazoned on its back.
The boxing champion appeared to have boosted his team's morale during the closely-fought first half up to the third quarter, where his team led by six points.
But a three-point fast break by Purefoods and a turnover in the fourth quarter wiped out Kia's lead and left Pacquiao scratching his head on the benches.
It was Pacquiao's second time playing with the team, which is owned by a business friend. The boxing legend made a scoreless pro ball debut in October, before starting training for the Algieri fight.
Pacquiao knocked down Algieri six times during Sunday's fight in Macau, dealing the 30-year-old American his first defeat and convincing fans that he is in shape to fight his arch-rival, Floyd Mayweather.
Negotiations are ongoing for a dream fight with Mayweather and Pacquiao is open to taking a smaller purse to make it happen, the Filipino's business manager Eric Pineda said on Tuesday.
Pacquiao, a champion in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, is also an elected member of parliament and has tried to expand his brand to movies, music and television.