With Air 21 Express ailing, Franz Pumaren wants trade for point guard, wingman
“Bahala na si Boss Lito. Siya na tuma-trabaho dyan. The important thing is we’ve already told him the players that we need,” Pumaren told InterAKTV in an exclusive interview.
The Express absorbed their fourth setback in five games and wound up in a tie for last spot with new team GlobalPort in the standings.
Prior to the start of the season, the Express undertook a massive buildup, acquiring KG Canaleta, John Wilson, Noy Baclao, Rob Reyes, and Bonbon Custodio via trade and drafting Yousef Taha and Simon Atkins.
But the injury bug bit Air 21 early, with Reyes, Custodio, and Eric Salamat ailing.
Reyes played his first game of the season against the Meralco Bolts last Sunday, but Pumaren said the frontliner has yet to fully recover from his injury.
“I inserted him into the game just to give him the feel of playing,” said Pumaren. “But he’s not yet 100 percent recovered.”
Pumaren said that Custodio is also on the road to recovery, but is not yet in game shape.
“We picked him up less than a week before the tournament started, then he got injured right away. When he returns, that’s the only time we will do something to get him into shape,” said Pumaren.
Salamat, meanwhile, injured his knee in the preseason.
Pumaren didn’t provide names he wanted, but the former La Salle coach earlier expressed his desire to be reunited with Ginebra point guard Mike Cortez, an ex-Green Archer.