AIR21 has agreed to a pair of trades while waiting for the sale of its PBA franchise to Metro Pacific Investments Corp. to be completed, multiple sources told Spin.ph on Friday.
Sources said Express management has reached agreements on Friday morning that will see rejuvenated Air21 forward Joseph Yeo going to Barangay Ginebra and Sean Anthony going to Meralco.
Trades involving Ginebra, Air21, and Meralco are already allowed since all three are already out of contention in the PBA Governors Cup, although the Commissioner's Office has yet to make an announcement on the deals.
There is still no clear information on which player the Express will get in return, although one source said Ginebra may likely give up seldom-used Josh Urbiztondo in the one-on-one swap.
It will be recalled that Urbiztondo was reported by Spin.ph to be bound for Air21 as far back in December until the deal was aborted after the report was leaked prematurely to the media.
Though he was retained by Ginebra after the trade was called off, Urbiztondo never got the playing minutes he deserved as he played only three games in the PBA Governors Cup at a 5.33-minute per game average.
On the other hand, Meralco is expected to give up John Wilson to get its hands on the fit-again Anthony, who is expected to form an exciting tandem with fellow gung-ho forward Cliff Hodge.
Meralco team manager Butch Antonio denied any knowledge of the trade, but did not discount the possibility of an agreement being reached between the Bolts and Air21 at the top level.
“Wala naman akong naririnig na ganyan, sa level ko ha. Next week pa kasi kami magkikita-kita ulit ng mga team officials,” said Antonio. “Pero ewan ko lang kung ang itaas ang nakikipag-usap sa kanila.”
Meanwhile, a source from Air21 bared that the deals involving Anthony and Yeo would be the last before they finally seal the sale of the franchise with Metro Pacific Investments.
He hinted that the two deals were already agreed upon prior to the sale, quashing talk that the Express are offloading valuable players before turning over the franchise to NLEX.
“Wala nang susunod dyan. Those trade deals are part of a previous agreement with Meralco and Ginebra, hindi matutulad yung team namin sa ibang nabenta na dinispatsa ang mga star players bago ipinasa sa new owners,” assured the source from Air21.
Before he played for Air21, Yeo was a mainstay at Ginebra’s sister team Petron (now San Miguel Beer) while Anthony was acquired by the Express from Talk 'N Text, a sister team of Meralco and NLEX.
Trades between sister teams are disallowed by the league.