Chinese team calls off Philippine 'friendly' 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 organising the events said Thursday.

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, Mr. Andy Qian. They requested for 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, Balunan said.

However Balunan 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 also said the Shanghai Sharks, who are partly owned by Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming, did not give any indication as to when or if the games would be rescheduled.

A spokesman for the Shanghai Sharks, Zhang Chi, confirmed the cancellation citing other commitments.

"When we received the formal invitation from the Philippines, both Yao Ming and the team already had other arrangements," he told AFP, adding there was not enough time to prepare.

The team would maintain contact with the Philippine side about possibly rescheduling, Zhang said, but declined further comment.

The Chinese and Philippine governments decided to organise the games in November last year to promote sports exchanges between the two countries.

But bilateral relations began plummeting in April at the start of a maritime standoff over a shoal in the South China Sea that both countries claim as their own.

The dispute began after Chinese government vessels blocked Philippine ships from arresting Chinese fishermen at the disputed area.

Since then, both countries have maintained ships at the shoal to press their respective claims to the area.

Chinese authorities have since impounded Philippine bananas and warned tourists not to come to the Philippines in moves seen by local analysts as pressure tactics.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring countries. The Philippines and Vietnam have in recent years accused China of becoming increasingly aggressive in staking its claim.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP
    ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP

    Security officials yesterday maintained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not penetrated the Philippines following an expert’s warning that the group poses a threat to the country. Abu Sayyaf, BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), private armed groups to our knowledge are the people making problems down south,” Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said. The BIFF and the Abu Sayyaf have pledged allegiance to the ISIS but it remains uncertain whether they are …

  • Cerbo named national police intel chief
    Cerbo named national police intel chief

    Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina yesterday ordered the appointment of PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. as chief of the Directorate for Intelligence. …

  • Pump prices up anew
    Pump prices up anew

    Oil companies announced yesterday another round of price hikes with independent oil firms among the first to issue their respective announcements. PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, another independent oil company, were among the first to issue their respective advisories. Seaoil Philippines also issued its announcement. …

  • PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing
    PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing

    The Philippine National Police will simplify requirements for getting a firearm’s permit under the new gun control law, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said yesterday. Espina said they are working to simplify the process to secure a license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) amid complaints of excessive requirements from gun holders. Espina directed the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) to make it easier for legitimate gun owners to comply with the …

  • Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals
    Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out yesterday from final preparations for his $400-million megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

  • Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700
    Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700

    Foreign rescue teams equipped with heavy cutting gear and relief supplies were landing round the clock at Nepal’s only international airport on the outskirts of Kathmandu, which has been devastated by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake. “We need more helicopters for our rescue operations in rural areas,” said Nepal Home Affairs spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal. In a statement issued yesterday, Aquino said a team from the Philippine embassy in New Delhi, India would travel to Nepal to meet the needs …

  • Heat index to rise to 39.9ºC on Friday
    Heat index to rise to 39.9ºC on Friday

    People in Metro Manila should stay indoors on Friday, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and drink plenty of water as the heat index – the temperature as felt by the human body – may reach 39.9 degrees Celsius on that day. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said this level of apparent temperature may cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. “Heat index is a human discomfort index that gives the apparent temperature, or …

  • Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions
    Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions

    By Kanupriya Kapoor and Jane Wardell CILACAP, Indonesia/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Indonesia said the execution of nine drug traffickers would go ahead this week, rebuffing last-minute appeals from Australia and the Philippines to spare their nationals and ignoring a decision by the Constitutional Court to hear a final challenge. Australia began the day with a plea for a stay in the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, saying reports that their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options