SINGAPORE: The Merlion Cup is returning to Singapore after a 20-year hiatus.
The basketball tournament will feature the Shanghai Sharks: A team owned by the legendary Yao Ming. It is not known if the former National Basketball Association star himself will be travelling with the team, however Basketball Association of Singapore Honorary Secretary Ong Swee Teck said: “We have extended an invitation to Yao Ming, but he has yet to confirm his attendance.”
To be held from Sep 21 to 25 at the OCBC Arena, the Merlion Cup will be a six-team competition played in a round-robin format. The top four teams will advance to the semi-finals.
Apart from the Sharks, the Singapore Slingers will also be taking part, as well as ASEAN Basketball League champions, the Westport Malaysia Dragons. There will also be teams from Australia and Taiwan.
Ticketing details will be announced in due course, organisers said.
The Merlion Cup was discontinued in 1996 because of the economic downturn in Asia. It used to see the Singapore national team sparring against opponents from Yugoslavia, Philippines, West Germany, China and South Korea, playing in front of capacity crowds of about 8,000 at the old Gay World Stadium in Geylang.