Yao Ming in Manila

Former NBA center Yao Ming, chairman of the Shanghai Sharks, arrived in Manila last night on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 337 as the rest of the team arrived Friday night for a 2-day Friendship Games.

The following Sharks officials arrived yesterday: Vice GM Zhang Chi, EA to GM Zhang Peizhong, Coach Wang Qun, Team Director Fei Genwei, Interpreter Guo Weisheng, Team Manager Fu Jiajun, and Asst. Director Yuan Qiang. Players include Liu Wei, Wang Yong, Wang Ligang, Meng Lingyuan, Liu Ziqiu, Zhang Zhaoxu, Cai Liang, Ge Yang, Wu Yang, Wang Sizhang, Zhai Yi and Zhang Yuan.

Composing the Chinese Media delegation were: senior editor of Sina Technlogy China Zhng Chenxi, Great Sports reporters Sun Quiao, Xia Jing and He Jia, Youth Daily reporter Yang Xianzhi, Wenhui Xinmin United Press reporter Wang Zhiling, Oriental Morning Post reporter Zhang Jing, Oriental Sports Daily Huang Jingyu, Shanghai Morning Post Zhu Jun, Sohu senior editor Zhang Yi, team photographer Hong Nanli, Net East reporter Chen Yun, PP Live Synacast Media senior reporter Li Tianyu and Wenhui Daily reporter Gu Miao.

Eight-time NBA All Star and former Houston Rockets no 1 will pit the Sharks with Coach Chot Reyes’ Smart Gilas on May 6, 730 pm, at the SM MOA Arena. Franz Pumaren’s PBA All Star Selection will play with the Sharks on May 7, 730 pm, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The games, backed by SM Mall of Asia Arena, Smart Araneta Coliseum, ATC Pharmaceuticals, Friends of the Philippines Foundation, Anchorland, Vikings and Oishi, will be telecast live by TV 5, major sponsor of the event.

A basketball clinic will also be conducted by the Sharks for less fortunate children at the Multi-Purpose Arena of PSC-Philsports in Pasig City. They will also pay a courtesy call to Vice President Jejomar Binay at his office in Coconut Palace.

“This will be the start of friendly matches, clinics and other close interaction with powerhouse countries in sports. Our national as well as the grassroots program will benefit from learning from the best,” said Philippine Commission chairman Richie Garcia, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese Minister of Sport Liu Peng in Beijing on August 2011.

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