MANILA, Philippines - Playtime for Manny Pacquiao is over.
Top trainer Freddie Roach arrived in Manila early Sunday morning from Los Angeles accompanied by a pair of mean-looking junior-middleweights who will lend a hand in Pacquiao's buildup for the Nov. 13 showdown with Antonio Margarito. ''We're going to train tomorrow (Monday),'' Roach told the Bulletin as soon as he emerged from a throng of well-wishers and fellow passengers at the Centennial Airport. Roach came in with Glen Tapia (from the Dominican Republic) and Michael Medina (Mexico), who will be the other half of sparring partners that would also include Vanes Martirosyan (Armenia) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Mexico). Tapia has a 7-0 record with five knockouts, while Medina has a 24-2 mark with 19 stoppages. ''We're looking forward to working with Manny Pacquiao,'' said Tapia, who got Roach's attention as he shadow-boxed while waiting for their hotel keys at the lobby of the New World. Martirosyan and Chavez Jr., son of the legendary Julio Cesar Sr., are expected to hit town anytime this week in time for the start of training camp in Baguio City, according to Roach. Roach said Rashad Holloway, who was tapped when Pacquiao revved up for Oscar De La Hoya in 2008, will be utilized once Pacquiao and the celebrated cornerman return to the familiar confines of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood in the third or fourth week of October. Roach had wanted to proceed immediately to Baguio City but Pacquiao's adviser Mike Koncz said the pound-for-pound king plans to send a few more days or the rest of the week in Manila before going up to the City of Pines. Baguio had been used by Roach and Pacquiao as training camp when they were preparing to face Miguel Cotto at around the same time last year. Last week, Pacquiao trained briefly at the Elorde Gym on Del Monte Ave. in Quezon City before returning to General Santos City for a brief R&R. Already in the country since last week is Alex Ariza, the revered conditioning coach and nutritionist of Pacquiao.