The good news: Retired NBA player Yao Ming will be joining the Shanghai Sharks, the Chinese Basketball Association team he co-owns, on their trip to the Philippines.
The bad news: The Philippine Sports Commission now has to find sleeping accommodations big enough for the 7-foot-6 Chinese superstar.
“The best thing is Yao Ming is coming. Nung nalaman nga namin namroblema kami agad kung saan sya papatulugin na hotel kasi matangkad sya. Sabi ko nga kung pwede natin dagdagan yung kama, dagdagan natin,” PSC chairman Richie Garcia told News5 on Friday.
The Sharks are scheduled for a friendly match against a selection of PBA stars coached by Tim Cone on June 28 at the newly-built SM Mall of Asia Arena, a game that Malacanang has called a “gesture of goodwill” amid tensions between the Philippines and China because of an ongoing standoff at the disputed Scarborough Shoal.
Garcia said that apart from a game against the PBA selection, the Sharks are also set to face the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team. It is unclear, however, whether SMART-Gilas will be composed of players from its pool from the PBA or top-flight amateurs on its cadet program.
The Sharks will also conduct basketball clinics for the youth during their visit.
Garcia added that the proceeds of the friendly matches will fund the PSC’s sports programs.