FINALLY, it's a done deal.
The sale of the Air21 franchise to Metro Pacific Investments Inc. was formalized on Thursday, bringing in a third team from the Manny V. Pangilinan group when the PBA opens its 40th season in October.
The sale of the Bert Lina-owned franchise for a declared P100 million was presented to the league board, which in turn "unanimously approved" the takeover during its regular monthly meeting on Thursday.
The newest franchise under the MVP group will now carry the colors of NLEX when it joins Talk 'N Text and Meralco next season with a team to be culled from an Air21 team that made waves this season.
Because of an agreement Air21 made prior to the sale, Joseph Yeo was not made part of the package and was instead sent to Barangay Ginebra for a future draft pick, sources told Spin.ph.
Air21 governor Lito Alvarez had earlier explained to Spin.ph that he has a gentleman's agreement with San Miguel that Yeo would not be traded for one year and would be returned to the SMC group in the event the Express are sold.
Since Air21 was barred from executing any more player movements during the course of the sale to NLEX, it was the MVP-controlled company that executed Yeo's trade to Ginebra to comply with the agreement.