PREPARATIONS for the visit of Yao Ming and his Shanghai Sharks next month appear to be going smoothly for the Philippine Sports Commission, except for one thing.
Finding a bed for the 7-foot-6 Yao is proving quite a task.
“When we were preparing for (the visit), we had to find a bed na eight feet para kay Yao Ming,” said PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez.
Yao and the Shanghai Sharks team which he owns are scheduled to play goodwill matches with the Gilas Pilipinas national team and a PBA selection on May 6 and 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena and the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Yao will not be playing but will accompany the team during the exhibition games, which are part of the Philippines’ memorandum of agreement with China for cooperation in the field of sports.
The now-retired former Houston Rockets star is just an inch shorter than the tallest players in NBA history in the late Manute Bol and Gheorge Muresan, so finding a bed big enough for him is not easy.
When asked what solution they had come up with, Gomez said: “(Bed) extender na lang.”
PSC chairman Ricardo Garcia said that since the Sharks owner is too big, it is not advisable to book him in a hotel suite which usually has a low ceiling and shower.
“’Yung suite, ang ceiling hindi masyadong mataas. ‘Yung shower, mababa. Okay ‘yun para sa mga 6-foot-5 pero 7-foot-6 kasi siya," said Garcia.
“So he has to be billeted in a regular room na mataas ang shower. Hindi siya puwede sa suite,” Garcia said.
Garcia has also scheduled a round of golf for Yao and this early, he had already asked course staffers to make available a golf cart with the roof temporarily taken out.
“Pinapatanggal ko na ‘yung bubong ng golf cart kasi kung may bubong, baka hindi siya kasya,” Garcia said.
Garcia, a longtime standout in the amateur golf scene, also wants to know what golf clubs the behemoth will be using.
“I’m curious kung ano ‘yung clubs niya,” said Garcia.