The Air 21 Express, coming off a historically futile tournament as the Shopinas.com Clickers in the Philippine Cup, have embarked on a modest offseason buildup by trading for two athletic frontcourt players from the Meralco Bolts.
Air 21 team manager Jovie Saddul told InterAKTV that the Express have acquired the rights to Nelbert Omolon and Mark Isip from Meralco in exchange for Mark Canlas, Dennis Daa, and a 2012 first round draft pick that originally belonged to the Bolts.
Saddul presented the deal Friday to the PBA, which has the right to veto or revise transactions. According to the Air 21 executive, PBA commissioner Chito Salud said that he sees no problem with the deal, although it is still yet to be approved.
Omolon was a member of the PBA mythical second team with Sta. Lucia in 2008, but is averaging a career-low 4.1 points per game this season.
Isip, meanwhile, will be playing for his seventh team in six seasons when his transfer to the Express becomes complete. Prior to the Bolts, the forward out of FEU also played for Sta. Lucia, Coca-Cola, Rain or Shine, Talk ‘N Text, and Barako Bull.
The current Air 21 franchise, which lost all 14 of its games in the Philippine Cup, is still searching for its first PBA victory. Earlier this week, the team received a bit of good news after it was awarded the exclusive rights to hire former SMART-Gilas Pilipinas center Marcus Douthit as its import for the Commissioner’s Cup.