Friday, January 13, 2012 Clickers to be renamed Air21

Source : Reynaldo Belen, InterAKTV

Pending the approval of the PBA, Air 21 may find itself back in the pro league, with the brand being carried by the franchise.

Manny Alvarez, who represents the Lina Group’s Barako Bull franchise on the PBA Board of Governors, confirmed the news to InterAKTV.

“If the PBA approves, it will start next conference,” said Alvarez. “Sheila Lina, the team’s board governor, had already written the PBA.”

“She will still be the governor and the decision for the name change is primarily a business decision.”

Barako Bull,, and Air 21 are all companies under the Lina umbrella. The group first joined the league in 2002 as the FedEx Express.

In 2005, the team was renamed Air 21, a brand it carried until 2009, when the squad was once again rechristened the Burger King Whoppers. The team reverted back to being Air 21 in 2010.

Late last year, however, the Lina Group announced that it had purchased another PBA franchise, the one that used to belong to Barako Bull. Part of the agreement was that the conglomerate would also buy part of the Barako business.

In a confusing shuffle, the group proceeded to have the erstwhile Air 21 carry the Barako Bull brand. The old Barako franchise, meanwhile, was acquired by Shopinas.

With the shift of Shopinas into the Express, the Air 21 and Barako Bull teams have effectively switched names.

It remains to be seen if the change in name would bring a change of fortunes for the Shopinas franchise, which set a dubious record by losing all 14 of their games in their maiden Philippine Cup.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud said he has already received the request for the name change. “I will make a formal reply tomorrow,” wrote Salud in a text message.a

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