WANTAWAY Paul Lee may have reached the point of no return.
The Gilas Pilipinas star on Saturday called Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao from Spain to relay his request to be traded, confirming the claim made his longtime adviser to Spin.ph on Friday.
Guiao could not be reached for comment at posting time but a high-ranking official from Rain or Shine confirmed that the call was indeed made from Spain.
"Tumawag na si Paul kay coach (Guiao). Nagpapa-release na talaga," said the top Rain or Shine official who requested that he not be named.
Guiao told Spin.ph on Friday that he wanted to hear the trade request straight from Lee's mouth before he decides on the next course of action for Rain or Shine.
Lee's adviser and manager Lawrence Chongson said he is happy that his claims have been confirmed by Lee.
"Atleast ngayon, sila personally ang nakadinig nang gusto nilang madinig. Nagpa-alam na sa kanila (si Lee)," said Chongson, a former coach of University of the East in the UAAP and currently the mentor of Boracay Rum in the PBA D-League.
"Kasi kahapon parang pinapalabas nila ako lang may sabi' nun (Lee's request to be traded). Yung sinabi ko daw (should be taken with a) grain of salt lang daw. Ayan nadinig na nila mismo ... Nasa kanila na ang alas ngayon," he added.
Chongson refused to divulge details of Lee's conversation with Guiao.
Lee has been offered a three-year, P15.12-million deal by Rain or Shine - a contract that the camp of the 25-year-old sparkplug from Tondo has refused to sign.
Rain or Shine is currently weighing its options, but a former team owner who worked closely with Guiao said he more or less knows what the fiery coach's decision would be.
"Si Yeng, pag ayaw ng player sa kanya, mas ayaw niyan. Nung time namin, kahit gusto pa namin ipaglaban ang player na ma-retain sa amin, kinakausap kami ni coach," said the former team owner who requested anonymity.
"Katwiran ni Yeng, hindi na lalaro ng matino sa iyo 'yan. Malimit sinasabi niya sa amin: 'Pakawalan na natin boss. Mahirap mag-alaga ng daga.' Kaya sa bandang huli, nire-release ang player," he added.
The same source has no doubt that Guiao will soon find another player to take Lee's place.
"Magaling ang mata ni Yeng. Alam niyang pumili ng ipapalit sa player na aalis sa kanya," he said.