MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Former NBA player and China's own Yao Ming told Filipinos the Philippines had a better presentation than his own country on Friday, August 7 in Tokyo, Japan.
The 7-foot-6 basketball star shared his observation right after both countries presented their final pitches to the FIBA Central Board for the right to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, according to a tweet posted by former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes.
"Your presentation was much better than ours," Reyes quoted Yao Ming.
So Yao Ming joins us, saying 'your presentation was much better than ours.' Seriously pic.twitter.com/PjgzEChIZ4 — Chot Reyes (@coachot) August 7, 2015
The Philippines aimed to tug at the Board's and viewers' heartstrings, showing them the "Philippine basketball story" with images, videos and testimonies about how basketball is weaved tightly into the cultural fabric of Filipinos. (READ: PH and its 2019 FIBA World Cup bid)
"Yao Ming actually approached us and said our presentation was better than ours. They spent so much time with their presentation for the Winter Olympics bid and nawalan yata sila ng time dito," Reyes told TV5. (It seemed they spent more time preparing for the Winter Olympics bid and ran out of time for this one.)
Yao Ming, who is China's 2019 ambassador and also spoke during the presentation, was seen seated at the Philippine delegation's table as both countries awaited the Central Board's final decision.
Hey I posterized Yao Ming!... I'm my dreams! We took a DUNKFIE together tho. #PUSO2019 pic.twitter.com/CEZqgzERcG — Patricia Hizon (@patriciahizon) August 7, 2015