MANILA, FEBRUARY 18, 2012 (BULLETIN) By NICK GIONGCO - Plans are afoot for Filipino Manny Pacquiao and Taiwanese-American Jeremy Lin to meet up on Wednesday in New York, a day before the Filipino’s scheduled press conference there and the New York Knicks guard’s match with the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden.

Pacquiao is now in the US to fulfill a myriad of commitments from having his deposition taken in relation with the defamation suit against Floyd Mayweather Jr., an endorsement gig with Nike, and holding press conferences in Los Angeles (Beverly Hills Hotel, Feb. 21) and New York (Chelsea Piers, Feb. 23) to promote his June 9 fight with Tim Bradley in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank big boss Bob Arum, is moving heaven and earth for the meeting to take place in the light of the meteoric rise of the 23-year-old Lin, who has taken the NBA by storm by virtue of monster numbers in the Knicks’ last seven games.

Arum, a native son of Brooklyn, New York, is at the forefront of leading Pacquiao to greater heights even though Pacquiao’s ring exploits have actually made him an immortal sports hero.

Rubbing elbows with NBA stars has become a practice for Pacquiao, who has met with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce and Hollywood stars through the years in the US and the Philippines.

Pacquiao is a hoops junkie and owns a team, the MP Gensan Warriors, which he regularly trains with during his free time.

Lin, like Pacquiao, was passed over when he was trying to make a name for himself in the US.

Lin was released by two NBA teams before finding a home in the Big Apple, while US promoters hardly took a second look at an obscure Asian puncher when he went to the US in 2001.

But after a smashing debut underneath an Oscar De La Hoya-headliner in June, 2001, the US fight scene went gaga over Pacquiao.

Meanwhile, Top Rank said tickets to the Pacquiao-Bradley world welterweight title match at the MGM Grand will become available to the public starting Feb. 24.

The premium ringside seat costs $1,200, while others are priced at $900, $600, $400, and $200.

Meanwhile, the leadership in the House of Representatives is still impressed with Pacquiao despite official records revealing that the Sarangani lawmaker has only attended 38 of the total number of 59 plenary sessions held last year.

“That’s a good record considering his absences were for his fights, which projected the country positively,” said House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. (With a report from Rio Rose Ribaya)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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