FORMER Houston Rockets superstar Yao Ming will definitely suit up, while two other National Basketball Association standouts won't when the Shanghai Sharks visit Manila this May.
Officials of the Philippine Sports Commission confirmed this after Chinese officials submitted a list of a 48-member delegation, which will take part in two exhibition matches next month.
The 7'6" Yao, however, will not be in the company of two NBA stalwarts Gilbert Arenas and DJ White, who both played for one season with the Sharks in the recent Chinese Basketball Association tournament.
“It’s going to be an all-Chinese lineup, with no other players who played in the NBA, except Yao Ming,” said PSC representative and planning division head Larry Domingo, who is coordinating the Sharks’ visit in the country.
The visit is part of a memorandum of agreement between the sports bodies of China and the Philippines.
Yao is personally coordinating with the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee on the Sharks’ trip, in his capacity as owner and president of the franchise.
Because of injury, Arenas, a former Washington Wizards cager, played only 15 of 32 games for the Shanghai Sharks in the CBA’s recently completed regular season, and there is no word yet if he will re-sign with the franchise.
White, on the other hand, is about sign his second contract with the Boston Celtics, after an initial 10-day deal ended, according to reports.
The Sharks, who will be in Manila on May 5, will be pitted against a Philippine Basketball Association All-Star selection on May 6 at the Araneta Coliseum.
They will then meet the Smart Gilas national team on May 7 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
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