Chinese cagers call off Philippine games
A Chinese basketball team has called off friendly games in the Philippines amid a tense territorial dispute between the two countries, a sports official organizing the events said yesterday.
The Shanghai Sharks, who were scheduled to play two games in Manila this month, asked for an indefinite postponement, saying the players' passports were not ready, said Michelle Balunan from the Philippine Sports Commission. “We received an e-mail from the vice-general manager of Shanghai Sharks, Andy Qian. They requested the postponement of the event to a later date,” said Balunan, a senior aide of the commission's chief.
Qian's message said the games, against a local professional team and an all-star line-up, had to be suspended because the Chinese side did not have time to obtain passports before the June 26- July 1 visit, she said.
The commission was “surprised” by Qian's reason since the Shanghai Sharks players had more than enough time to get the proper papers, she added.
The Shanghai Sharks, who are partly owned by Chinese basketball National Basketball Association superstar Yao Ming, did not give any indication as to when or if the games would be rescheduled, Balunan said.
A spokesman for the Shanghai Sharks confirmed the cancellation, citing other commitments.