Air 21 isn’t done tinkering with its roster.
Just 10 days before the start of the new PBA season, the Express got a new addition in spitfire guard Bonbon Custodio from Alaska in exchange for a 2014 second round pick.
Air 21 team executive Lito Alvarez told InterAKTV that his team has reached an agreement with the Aces as of late morning Thursday.
“OK na kami ng Alaska for Bonbon,” Alvarez said in a telephone interview. “He is the type of player na hinahanap ni Coach Franz [Pumaren], a combo guard who can score and give us stability sa backcourt.”
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said sending the talented guard to the Express is a way to assure him of playing time, which isn’t guaranteed in the crowded Aces backcourt.
“It would be unfair for Bonbon to see him play in the third group considering the talent that he has,” Trillo said in a telephone interview.
Air 21 underwent a major facelift with its lineup in the offseason, acquiring KG Canaleta and John Wilson from Ginebra and Noy Baclao and Rob Reyes from Petron.
They also added big man Yousef Taha and guard Simon Atkins from the rookie draft.
Like the Express, the Aces were busy making offseason moves, trading main man LA Tenorio and seldom-used forwards Hans Thiele and Wesley Gonzales to bring in promising sophomore JVee Casio and veteran swingman Dondon Hontiveros.
The Aces are also expected to make room for rookie stalwart Calvin Abueva, the team’s second overall pick, as well as do-it-all guard Raphy Reyes, who has impressed Trillo in their tuneup games.
“With Raphy Reyes showing a lot of promise in practice, doing everything from hustling, defending and providing scoring sock when needed, Bonbon will be relegated to the third group because we also have Dondon Hontiveros, Cyrus Baguio and Calvin Abueva,” added Trillo. “I know Bonbon is not complaining. He’s a silent-type player, but I don’t want to be unfair to him, that’s why we want to help him the best possible way by looking for a team which can give him more playing time.”