MANILA, Philippines -- The Meralco Bolts have switched imports ahead of the start of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup.
Meralco initially hired former NBA player Shabazz Muhammad as their reinforcement, but the latter is unable to travel to the Philippines due to a personal emergency.
The Bolts will now lean on Tony Bishop for the upcoming conference.
"We wish Shabazz the best in dealing with his family matters, and we are looking forward to welcoming Tony Bishop as our import for this conference," Meralco Bolts team manager Paolo Trillo said in a statement.
A Dallas-born Panamanian, Bishop has been playing internationally since 2011. He recently finished a finals run in Puerto Rico's highly competitive pro league, where he was one of the top performers for Guaynabo.
The 32-year-old Bishop is also a member of Panama's national team.
Meralco is looking to build on a strong campaign in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, where they made the semifinals before losing to the Magnolia Hotshots.
In the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, Meralco made it to the Finals but lost to Barangay Ginebra in five games. The Bolts were reinforced at the time by Allen Durham, a three-time PBA Best Import.
Durham is currently playing for the Ryukyu Golden Kings in Japan's B.League, however, and is thus not available for the Governors' Cup.