• Gong Li



    Shailene Woodley. Vanessa Hudgens. Black Eyed Peas. Jason Day.

    They are all Filipino-Americans, except Day (Filipino-Australian golfer), with Woodley and the older Hudgens being among those of the Hollywood new breed touted for stardom.

    The Black Eyed Peas is bonafide Top 40 member (take a bow, Allan Pineda Lindo, from Pampanga).

    Anyone of them could have been invited by Filipino basketball honchos to pitch the Philippines’ bid for the right to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    They, however, settled for Lou Diamond Phillips, a colleague of Wood¬ley and Hudgens who was not an A-lister even in his heyday in the 1980s.

    The result of the bidding is water under the bridge and there is no really no use for asking what went wrong (the Philippines lost).

    But, if the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas thought that the FIBA bosses would be dazzled by Phillips’ celebrity, they were mistaken, as what had been proved.

    If China (the only other bidder) bought the idea that Phillips was a threat to their attempt to host yet another daunting sporting challenge, then it would have paraded the beautiful and luminous Gong Li.

    Well, Yao Ming alone may have done it for China, and so the Chinese chucked the temptation to also tap the services of Jackie Chan and Jet Li because they probably did not want to be accused of overkill.

    Michael Jordan could have been a better option than Phillips.

    MJ? Why not, when the Philippines seems to want the easy way out of its problems with basketball and basketball alone.

    It naturalized Andray Blatche, after making a Filipino of Michael Douthit, and guess what?

    Blatche, now legally a Pinoy by an act of Congress, is playing in the Chinese professional basketball league and the nearly 40-year-old Douthit spending more time sitting out games than playing them.

    There seems to be nothing in NBA rules that prohibits superstar Michael Jordan from helping a country shore up its bid for the right to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup, is there?

    Of course, MJ would cost three arms and three legs but what the heck when he would have probably force the hand of the Chinese to beseech the beautiful and luminous Gong Li.

    Problem is, she is now a Singaporean citizen, but for China, that is no problem at all, because in her heart of hearts (puso), she will remain Chinese.

    Puso didn’t work for the Philippines simply because, in terms of infrastructure alone, it didn’t walk the talk and put its money where its mouth was.


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