Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao not giving up on 'well-liked' Paul Lee
Coach Yeng Guiao says he wants Paul Lee to stay but won't force him to stay if he doesn't want to play at Rain or Shine anymore. Jerome Ascano

YENG Guiao stressed that there are restrictions that give Rain or Shine control over the Paul Le situation even as his contract ends at the end of the month, but adds that they will not hold their star guard against his will.

“Mage-expire ang contract ni Paul after August 30, then libre siya makipag-usap sa ibang teams, pero hanggang di kami pumapayag, we control the trade,” Guiao emphasized.

“Kung hindi namin siya papayagan ma-trade, obligado siya maglaro sa amin. Pero meron kaming rule sa team, kung ayaw mo na maglaro dito, di ka namin pipilitin,” he added.

Guiao said they are not going to let Lee go without getting an explanation on why the former PBA Rookie of the Year suddenly wants out.

The fiery mentor reiterated the six-foot combo guard’s value to the team, saying Lee is “well-liked” and certainly part of the Elasto Painters’ bright future in the PBA.

“All of us (management, coaching staff and players) want to retain Paul. Pamilya namin siya at malaki parte niya sa team,” Guiao said, sharing his sentiments on the trade saga involving the sweet-shooting Lee.

“Of course, ready rin kami kung ano mangyayari kaya kami nag-draft ng insurance, pero Paul is well-liked sa team eh,” he added.

“Bakit hindi namin ie-exhaust ang lahat ng paraan para ma-retain siya?”

Should Lee insist to be traded after talking with him once and for all when he finishes his ongoing national team commitment Gilas Pilipinas, Guiao said they have no other recourse but to trade him, as long as it comes with equal value.

“Pagiisipan namin yun (trade), basta equal ang value,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava