AIR21 Express and Meralco have finally agreed to pull the trigger on a long-mothballed trade that would send Nonoy Baclao and John Wilson to the Bolts for Carlo Sharma, Vic Manuel and a 2015 second-round draft pick.
The deal, which had seen many combinations as it was negotiated over the last several weeks, was agreed upon this week and the documents are set to reach the Commissioner's Office on Friday, sources said.
Lost in the shuffle were Rey Guevarra and James Sena, who were among the pieces of the original talks but will now stay with Meralco and Air21, respectively. (See Spin.ph's June 13 story here Manuel, Baclao, Wilson set for move as Meralco and Air21 revive trade talks)
Another bid to include the rights of Asi Taulava in the package (See July 1 story Air21 dangles Baclao in bid to beat Ginebra to the draw for rights to Asi Taulava) also failed to take off.
The deal will see Sharma become the latest piece in a 'La Salle reunion' at Air21 under his former college coach Franz Pumaren, joining former Archers Mike Cortez, Simon Atkins, and Renren Ritualo.
The well-travelled rookie Manuel, on the other hand, should add quickness and versatility to an offense that revolves around Nino Canaleta and Cortez.
On the other hand, Baclao and Wilson are expected to fortify Meralco's defense as it bids to go deeper in the PBA Governors Cup playoffs.
Meanwhile, Smart Sports media head Virgil Villavicencio said no import has so far been signed by Meralco.
“As of last week, Mario West pa rin ang choice namin. Sa ngayon wala pa eh,” Villavicencio said.
Chris Blake, the import brought by the team in a recent tournament in Japan, has already been sent home.