The two-game goodwill series by the Shanghai Sharks against the country’s top basketball players may have been a flop at the gates but the visit enhanced the country’s diplomatic relations with China.
“We didn’t earn from this endeavor but we’re very happy with the result,” said chair Richie Garcia of the Philippine Sports Commission that organized the Philippines-China Friendship Games where the Chinese ballclub owned by former NBA great Yao Ming lost to Gilas-Pilipinas and the PBA all-stars.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is not about how much money we made, but how we contributed to our diplomatic relation with China,” added Garcia.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, Foreign Affairs Sec. Alberto Romulo and Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing exchanged pleasantries during the games as they set aside the simmering territorial dispute between the two countries in the West Philippine Sea.