By Steve Holland and Dana Feldman
MANILA/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting arrived back in the United States on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had sought the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the case.
The players landed at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Shanghai Tuesday evening, their heads down. The three – LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – declined to speak to throngs of reporters before boarding a bus.
“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump told reporters earlier in Manila. He said the trio, who had been held since last week, could have faced long prison sentences. Trump described Xi’s response as “terrific.”
Trump had raised the issue with Xi at a dinner held during the U.S. leader’s Nov. 8-10 state visit to Beijing. Trump was in the Philippines capital for a…