MANILA, Philippines — Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets superstar, believes a Filipino will someday make it to the National Basketball Association.
Yao, who arrived Saturday night, said with China and other countries in Asia able to produce NBA players, it’s only a matter of time before the Philippines can also make a splash into the NBA scene.
“There are Iran players [in the NBA] and I believe there will be a Filipino in the NBA in the future,” Yao, who said through interpreter Guo Weisheng during the Philippines-China Friendship Games presser held at the Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque City Sunday morning.
The seven-foot-six Yao, who brought in his Shanghai Sharks to play two exhibition games –against the Gilas Pilipinas National team and the PBA All-Star Selection squad — also said that he expected more Chinese players to follow in his footsteps.
“Right now we have some young talented players in China. They still have long ways to go and they can be in the NBA someday.”
The 32-year-old Yao, who was selected first overall pick by the Rockets in 2002, was considered as one of the best big men in the NBA before foot and ankle injuries unfortunately forced him to early retirement in 2011.