MANILA – Former National Basketball Association superstar Yao Ming of China expressed his gratitude towards Vice President Jejomar Binay during his courtesy call yesterday at the Coconut Palace.
“Thank you very much for inviting us to come to the Philippines, for the warm hospitality, and for arranging everything,” Yao said in Chinese.
Aside from the visit, Yao, who stands 7-foot-6 even gave the 5-foot-2 Binay an impromptu basketball lesson to show his thanks.
Yao also invited Binay to watch a Shanghai Shark's exhibition game against Gilas Pilipinas National team and the PBA All-Star Selection squad scheduled Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Yao said he hopes to further promote friendly relations between the Philippines and China through basketball.
The former Chinese NBA player explained that, just like in the Philippines, basketball has also been very popular in China particularly in the last 20-30 years.
“We hope that, in the future we can have Philippines basketball game come to Shanghai to let the Chinese people experience the Philippine style of playing this game”, he added.
Yao is in the country with his Shanghai Sharks basketball team for a friendly visit as part of the Years of Friendly Exchanges between the Philippines and China.
This was made possible with the agreement between President Aquino and then Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2011.*PNA
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