VETERAN forward Mark Isip may be the happiest person over the trade that sent him to Petron in a direct swap for Joseph Yeo which was approved by the PBA on Thursday.
"Masaya talaga ako kasi ang laki-laki ng chance ko ngayon na mag-champion. 'Yun na lang kasi ang kulang ko," said the Pampanga-born player who has won championships with Far Eastern University in the UAAP and a couple of commercial teams in the old PBL.
In the PBA Governors' Cup alone, the former Tamaraw will be jumping from the bottom all the way to the top: Air21 has a 1-5 (win-loss) record compared to Petron's league-leading mark.
So thrilled is Isip with the move that he doesn't mind the diminished playing time at Petron or the fact that he was the second choice of Petron for the Yeo trade after Nerbert Omolon. (For full story, see Air21, Petron, Ginebra agree in principle on tweaked trade)
"Kahit wala akong playing time, hindi ako magrereklamo. Pagpupursigihan ko na lang laro para makakuha ako ng oras," he vowed.
Petron coach Gee Abanilla said he has already briefed Isip on his role in the team.
"Sinabi ko sa kanya na kailangan magamay n'ya ng husto ang sistema. Hindi madali 'yon pero nakikita ko na madali namin s'yang pumick up," said the Petron mentor.
"Ni-remind ko lang sya nung sinasabi din namin sa ibang players namin to be ready ... be always ready."
Abanilla said Isip will play chief back-up to former FEU teammate and now Petron star Arwind Santos - a role the 6-5 banger readily accepts.
"Okay ako dun. Dati naman na kami magkasama ni Arwind. Kabisado na namin ang isa't isa. Kung ano ang pagagawa sa akin, susundin ko," he said.
"Ang sarap dito sa team ko ngayon."