Sorry, but Yao Ming won't be playing

As far as Yao Ming’s basketball career is concerned, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

The Chinese basketball icon confirmed Sunday that he won’t be suiting up when the Shanghai Sharks tangle two local squads in a pair of exhibition matches at the Mall of Asia Arena and also at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

“I no longer have a uniform with the team, and my past injuries keep me from playing,” said the towering 7-foot-6 center through an interpreter in a press conference at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City.

The top overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Yao made a good account of himself as a Houston Rocket, helping the team reach four post-season appearances before abruptly retiring in 2011 due to a spate of nagging foot injuries.

But two years before hanging up his sneakers, the eight-time NBA All-Star already brought the Sharks since his former club was facing the specter of not playing in the Chinese Basketball Association due to financial woes.

RELATED: Yao Ming arrives in Manila for Friendship Games

Now, Yao is contented in dealing with the business side of the game while serving as the sport’s “global ambassador.”

Asked to comment on the ongoing NBA playoffs, the Chinese superstar picked the defending champion Miami Heat and four-time champion San Antonio Spurs to meet in the NBA Finals, although he wouldn't say which team would win it all.

Spearheaded by national team skipper Liu Wei and promising 6-foot-11 center Zheng Yali, the Sharks first test the mettle of Gilas Pilipinas on Monday at the MOA Arena then square off with the PBA Selection, handled by Air21 coach Franz Pumaren, at the Big Dome on Tuesday.

Organized by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Chinese Embassy, the pair of exhibition games “can only bring our countries closer together through sports,” according to Yao.

With the arrival of Yao and the Sharks, PSC chairman Richie Garcia sounded confident more Chinese teams will set foot in the country, saying: “We hope this will just be a start for many Chinese teams to visit our country for friendly matches.”

Shanghai coach Wang Qun, meanwhile, wouldn’t divulge too much about their game plan, saying: “It’s a secret, or I can’t coach tomorrow. I can only say that tomorrow will be an exciting game.”

The Sharks, including Yao, also conducted a basketball clinic at the Philsports Arena Sunday afternoon and paid a courtesy call to Vice President Jejomar Binay.


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.

  • SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Thai index slips ahead of economic data

    BANGKOK, May 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat to weaker on Friday, with the Malaysia index hitting a more than two-month low and Philippines touching an over one-week low on ... …

  • China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"
    China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"

    By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday it was "strongly dissatisfied" after a U.S. military plane flew over part of the South China Sea near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident. The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which had a team on board …

  • 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena
    2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena

    The smell of burnt rubber and screeching tires are some of the highlights that will be seen at the most adrenaline-pumped drifting event of the year—the 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship series.   Held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, the event will be the biggest venue in the drifting competition. This is the […] The post 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • The Richest Senators In The Philippines
    The Richest Senators In The Philippines

    The 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth for politicians and public servants are now available for anyone to … The post The Richest Senators In The Philippines appeared first on …

  • PHILIPPINES PRESS-AirAsia Philippines seeks $500 mln valuation for IPO - Inquirer

    The Philippine unit of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Berhad is seeking a valuation of at least $500 million for its initial public offering set within the next two years, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ... …

  • Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot
    Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot

    A 39-year-old information technology consultant, whose job contract will expire this month, has claimed his share of the 6/45 Mega Lotto’s P17.8-million jackpot in its May 13 draw, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced yesterday. “I could not sleep for the past several days, thinking about where I could get the money to pay my children’s tuition,” the winner told PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II when he received a check for P5.9 million at the PCSO’s central …

  • Cager’s daughter: I will never drive again
    Cager’s daughter: I will never drive again

    Kim Asaytono vowed never to get behind the wheel again after she hit 14 people on Tuesday night and killed one of them. Even if she gets out of jail one day, the 22-year-old daughter of former Philippine Basketball Association player Nelson Asaytono said she no longer wants to drive. Maybe, I will still ride a car but I will never drive again,” she told The STAR in an interview in her jail cell at the Manila Police District headquarters. …

  • Disaster center to rise in Clark
    Disaster center to rise in Clark

    The private sector is set to build a disaster operations center near Clark international airport in Pampanga to strengthen the country’s preparedness against natural calamities. In his closing remarks during a two-day Earthquake Resilience Conference, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan said yesterday the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) would build the center that would serve as base for immediate response to a disaster. Pangilinan, co-chair of the PDRF, said the disaster …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options