AIR21 is not giving up yet in its pursuit of Petron gunner Joseph Yeo.
Head coach Franz Pumaren said the former De La Salle star remains very much on the Express' wish list despite reports that Petron pulled the plug on a Yeo-Ronald Tubid deal on the orders of SMC chief Ramon Ang.
“We are still making a pitch,” Pumaren said on Saturday when Spin.ph. caught up with him during a Junior NBA event at The British School Manila in Taguig.
“When you do a trade, at least equal in skills wise.”
The Express are looking to bounce back in the import-laden Commissioner’s Cup after they were booted out early in the playoffs of the Philippine Cup, and acquiring the services of Yeo is one step in that direction.
Pumaren, however, admitted the Express are having difficulty coming up with a package that could compel Petron to give up Yeo.
“The problem siguro is what we can offer. If we offer somebody, down din (para sa amin). I don’t know if it’s a done deal already,” said Pumaren.
Yeo was one of Pumaren’s key players during La Salle’s title run in early 2000.
Should the Express succeed in acquiring Yeo, he will join fellow former Green Archers Ren-Ren Ritualo and Mike Cortez in the team. Cortez was earlier acquired from Barangay Ginebra in exchange for rookie Yousef Taha.
Pumaren said in case the Express fail to obtain the services of Yeo, the team has other options.
“It is in the board. Hopefully, we can finalize everything,” Pumaren said.