As confirmed early by Niubball, the Shanghai Sharks will no longer be flying over to the Philippines for a game with the country’s national team at the end of this month due to an ongoing dispute between the host country and China over what the latter calls the Huangyan Island, a small area of land located in the South China Sea near the Philippine mainland.
Rumors have been rife for a couple of weeks now, both in chat forums and the Filipino media, that the game will be scrapped amidst the growing saber rattling over the islands. The games, that ironically were organised to soothe the tensions between the two nations, would have seen the Sharks take on a team trained by Tim Cone, who like Shanghai coach, Daniel Panaggio, is a long-established proponent of the triangle offence.
The Philippine Sports Commission are claiming that the Sharks postponed the games due to passport issues with their own players, although the PSC add that they feel the ongoing drama over the Huangyan Islands is the main reason for the sudden change in arrangements. There has been no comment on the Shanghai Sharks website.