Despite Air 21 bowing out of the race early in the season-ending 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup, the Lina Group of Companies are still optimistic about next season.
The Bert Lina-owned group will field not one but two teams in the 37th season. Shopinas.com, an e-commerce firm headed by Sheila Lina, daughter of Bert, will be the first dot-com company to see action in Asia’s oldest play-for-pay league.
“We want to introduce Shopinas to the PBA,” Air 21 board governor Manny Alvarez told InterAKTV.
The Lina Group of Companies now control two PBA teams after its purchase of the Barako Bull franchise was approved. But with the old Barako roster virtually empty of players, Shopinas will have to build the team from the ground up.
“Shopinas is bent on putting up a young team,” said Alvarez. “We haven’t discussed the concession that we want because the immediate goal of the company at this time is to look for a team manager and a head coach.”
A one-stop online store, Shopinas.com was launched last year to allow entrepreneurs and online bargain hunters to shop, pay, and have items delivered right at their doorstep. The launch coincided with other Lina Group products Air 21 Global and Air 21 iBayad.
Shopinas.com will be the fourth product carried by the Lina Group since joining the PBA in 2002.
The franchise debuted as FedEx, but was forced to drop the name after the international courier company transferred its main Asian hub from the Philippines to China. After the switch, the team carried the Air 21 name.
In 2008, the franchise switched its name to Burger King, with plans for the company to be sold to businessman Mikee Romero along with the basketball franchise. But the deal fell through, and the team reverted back to Air 21 in 2010.