Manny Pacquiao has expressed interest in recruiting former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace to the Filipino boxing champion's newest venture -- professional basketball.

Pacquiao has become player/coach of the newly formed Kia Sorentos in the Philippine Basketball Association, adding to his other careers as a world-champion boxer and local congressman.

Local media this week quoted Pacquiao saying he intended to speak to the 34-year-old forward about joining the expansion team.

"He's OK. He's my friend," The Philippine Star quoted Pacquiao as saying of World Peace, whom he met in Los Angeles in 2009 ahead of his fight against Miguel Cotto.

"We need a good import," he said. "If we get him, that would be nice."

World Peace, who changed his name from Ron Artest, is currently playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association after a long NBA career that included stints with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.