TALK 'N Text gave up Rabeh Al-Hussaini in favor of former Ateneo teammate Noy Baclao while Mac Cardona is reunited with former De La Salle teammates at Air21 after a complex three-team, multi-player trade that was approved by the PBA Commissioner's Office on Monday.
The eight-player trade involving the two teams under the MVP umbrella and Air21 was kicked off when Talk 'N Text gave up Al-Hussaini - coach Norman Black's former star center at Ateneo - for injured big man Rob Reyes and the Express' second-round pick in the 2015 rookie draft.
Air21 then turned around and sent Al Hussaini and Nelbert Omolon to Meralco to get its hands on Baclao and Cardona, adding one more piece to Express coach Franz Pumaren's growing collection of former Archers in his lineup.
In the final step, the Express shipped Baclao and Eric Salamat to Talk 'N Text for rarely used guards Pamboy Raymundo and Bam Gamalinda.
When the dust cleared, Talk 'N Text and Meralco merely ended up swapping Al-Hussaini and Baclao while Air21 - acting as a veritable conduit for the two PLDT teams - benefited from the transaction by finally getting its hands on Cardona.
Cardona became expendable at Meralco following the arrival of Gary David in another trade pulled off by the Bolts on Friday. [For full story, see 'El Granada' David sent by Globalport to Meralco in four-player deal]
At Air21, he will be reunited not only with his former college coach Pumaren but also with former La Salle stars Joseph Yeo, Renren Ritualo, Carlo Sharma, and Simon Atkins.
On the other hand, Al-Hussaini's reunion with Black at Talk 'N Text after he was acquired from Globalport in exchange for the rights to Japeth Aguilar proved short-lived as he now moves to play for his fifth team in a four-year pro career.
Ironically, he was taken at No. 2 overall behind Baclao by Air21 in the 2010 PBA rookie draft.