Rain or Shine declares it is willing to trade anyone - including Paul Lee - for top big man
Rain or Shine has never had a dominant big man in the middle, making do with undersized frontliners like Beau Belga and JR Quinahan. Jerome Ascano

IN a sudden change of heart, Rain or Shine declared on Friday it is willing to trade any of its players - including star guard Paul Lee - to get its hands on a star big man.

Rain or Shine governor Mert Mondragon told Spin.ph they are now open to trade talks, even for its two first-round picks in the first round of the PBA rookie draft, just to fill a long-standing void in its center position.

The franchise, a two-time finalist last season, has never had a dominant big man, usually making do with undersized frontliners like Beau Belga and JR Quinahan.

"Kahit sino pwede nilang kunin sa amin. Bastat papalitan nila ng isang big man na kailangan namin. Pwede kaming mag-usap," said Mondragon, adding they are willing to do deals even with teams from the San Miguel Beer organization.

"Kahit sa San Miguel. Pwede kaming makipag-trade. Tamang-tama, marami silang big man, di ba?" said Mondragon.

Mondragon's intriguing declaration comes at a time when speculations are high that other teams including San Miguel are after Lee, who has carved a reputation as one of the top guards in the PBA today.

"Kahit si Paul, puwede namin i-trade. Basta't sabi ko nga, ibigay sa amin ang big man na kailangan namin. 'Yun na lang kasi ang kulang sa team namin eh," said the Elasto Painters manager.

Asked if the move to put Lee on the trading block was a sign that the team is giving up on its bid to renew his contract that expires at the end of the month, Mondragon said such was not the case.

"Hindi naman. Kami naman confident kami na mapapapirma ulit namin siya. Kasi maximum naman alok namin sa kanya," he said.

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