Barangay Ginebra beefed up its frontline while San Miguel Beer retooled its backcourt in separate trade deals with Air21.
The Kings acquired Yancy de Ocampo for Doug Kramer and Rich Alvarez while the Beermen got Alex Cabagnot for Mike Cortez.
The Express struck these deals with the SMC ballclubs coming on the heels of an earlier trade transaction with the Talk n Text Tropang Texters where they got de Ocampo and Renren Ritualo for JR Quinahan, Mark Yee and Aaron Aban.
All these teams are out to get a better mix and hoping to improve their showing in the PBA Fiesta Conference which opens on March 21 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Express have been the most aggressive in their buildup with their latest deals making their core lineup a mix of Ateneans and La Sallites.
Air21 team manager Lito Alvarez closed his deals with the SMC teams upon their return from Dubai where the Express finished second in a four-team invitational tourney also featuring the Coca-Cola Tigers.
Alvarez said import Leroy Hickerson made a good impression in the tourney where they placed second behind the UAE national team.
“The import we’ve got and the new players we enlisted make me really excited about the coming tourney,” said Alvarez.
“Doug (Kramer) has played for us and I like his work ethic. I also like Rich Alvarez. The two are college teammates,” Alvarez added.
Kramer and Alvarez, former Ateneo teammates, are reunited at Air21 where they have found themselves with former La Salle Archers Cortez and Ritualo.
Air21 gave up De Ocampo without a single official single game since his recent transfer from Talk n Text.
“Definitely, Renren Ritualo will stay with us. Renren and Ronjay Buenfe will be our main men at off-guard spot,” said Alvarez.
Cabagnot, meanwhile, was able to play a few games with Burger King (now Air21) before finding himself being traded once again.
San Miguel will be Cabagnot's fourth team after Sta. Lucia, Coca-Cola and Burger King. (NC)