Isip, Catli to Coca-Cola; Yeo to Sta. Lucia

nov-19-117.jpgAfter successfully prying away Mark Telan from Air21, the Coca-Cola Tigers firmed up its frontcourt corps even more with the acquisition of Mark Isip and Cesar Catli from Sta. Lucia for incoming sophomore Joseph Yeo and a 2009 second round draft pick.

Nelson Beltran of the Philippine Star reports that the two teams have already consummated the deal in time for their clash in the 2007 PBA pre-season tourney tomorrow at 6 p.m. at The Arena in San Juan.

With the two Marks in the lineup: Isip and Telan, the Tigers are expected to battle it out for the rebounds, unlike last year when they only had Fil-am Ali Peek to rely on the glass. Catli, on the other hand, replaces guard Will Antonio who was not re-signed by the team. The Tigers now have two deadly perimeter shooters on the team. The Tigers drafted an outside gunner in the draft in the person of Ronjay Buenafe.

The transfer of Joseph Yeo to the Realtors’ fold may be the break “The Ninja” is looking for. The team has not had a slasher since Kenneth Duremdes was traded to the Tigers last season. He is expected to come off the bench (or maybe even start) for the Realtors who do not have many big guards on the team roster. The team has already released guard Mark Magsumbol.

“We really need a slasher, and Yeo may fit the description,” said Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez.

“Yeo also has a good fans base. He may well boost crowd support for the team,” Fernandez added.

Curiously, the same teams figured in a trade deal last year. Duremdes, Alex Cabagnot and Ricky Calimag were traded by Sta. Lucia to Coca-Cola for Denok Miranda, a second round pick and Manny Ramos.

Yeo was the third overall pick in the draft last year behind eventual ROY awardee Kelly Williams and Air21’s Arwind Santos.

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