A big welcome awaits the Shanghai Sharks when they arrive tonight for a two-game goodwill series with Smart Gilas and the PBA Selection team next week.
Philippine Sports Commission Executive Director Guillermo Iroy said the Sharks, owned by former NBA superstar Yao Ming, are expected to arrive at 7:40 p.m.
The 7-foot-4 Ming, however, will not arrive until tomorrow in time for the team's City Tour.
The Sharks will hold a basketball clinic for children at the Multi Purpose Arena in Philsports Complex on Sunday morning and pay a courtesy call on Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday.
Tickets to the games have been cut by 50 percent so more people can watch the exhibition games.
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The Shanghai Sharks will play against the Smart Gilas Team at 7:30 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday and then the PBA selection at the same time Tuesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The match between the PBA All-Stars and the Sharks will serve as the local dribblers' tuneup game for their participation in the FIBA Asia championships to be hosted by the country this August.
Smart Gilas coach Chot Reyes is excited with the prospect of playing against one of the best Chinese teams.
The visitors will be led by 6-foot-2 shooting guard Liu Wei and 7-foot-3 center Zhang Zhaoxu.