PAUL Lee’s rise to superstardom couldn’t have come at a better time.
The three-year contract of Rain or Shine’s combo guard is set to expire on August 31 and Lee expressed his hope he’ll be able to get the best deal the Welbest franchise could offer to him.
Although he did not directly mention it, Lee hinted his handlers are seeking the maximum salary of P420,000 a month allowed per player by the pro league's rules.
“Sina Boss (Raymund Yu and Terry Que) na ang bahala sa akin, yung mga agents na ang bahala sa negotiation,” said Lee on the eve of Gilas Pilipinas’ departure for Miami, where the national team will set-up training camp for the next two weeks as part of its preparations for the Fiba-World Cup in Spain.
“Tiwala naman ako sa mga nagha-handle sa akin, hindi nila ako pababayaan. Hindi nila ako ipapahamak, gagawin nila yung mas makakabuti para sa akin.”
The former Rookie of the Year is receiving P350,000 per month on the final year of his contract with the Elasto Painters.
And given the way he had assumed the mantle of leadership as Rain or Shine’s franchise player, his handlers Edgar Tan, Paola Punla, and Lawrence Chongson, believe the former University of the East guard deserves nothing but the maximum deal.
“I think he deserves it. We’ll negotiate the best deal we can get for Paul,” said Tan.
Lee helped Rain or Shine reach two of the PBA’s three Finals conferences last season, including the Governors Cup where the Elasto Painters pushed eventual champion and Grand Slam winner San Mig Coffee to a deciding do-or-die Game Five.
He also proved he belonged to Gilas Pilipinas when he made the three game-winning free throws in the national team’s bronze medal match against China during the FIBA-Asia Cup in Wuhan.