FIVE days since arriving from Spain, Paul Lee has yet to meet with Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao just as he had promised as his contract row dragged on.
Guiao said he is exercising 'maximum tolerance' on Lee, but warns his patience is not bottomless.
“Sa ngayon, maximum tolerance pa ako kay Paul. Kasi pinanghahawakan ko pa yung sinabi ni Paul na makikipag-usap siya sa akin,” said the fiery six-time champion coach.
“Yung sa signing (ng contract), eh may oras pa naman eh. October 17 daw ang opening. Pero hindi naman pwedeng sa October 15 kami magka-ayos,” added the outspoken coach.
Guiao bared that he will be keeping a reasonable approach on Lee until the early part of next week, but maintains he doesn’t guarantee that his patience won't run out.
“Pero syempre, hindi unlimited 'yan (pasensya ko). Kailangan ring matantiya mo kung hanggan saan yung limit na yun,” said Guiao, adding he is already bending backwards to look after Lee's welfare.
“Si Paul na lang talaga ang tinitignan ko dito. 'Yung naging pag-uusap namin at pangako niya na magkikita kami ang tinitignan ko rito,” he added.
Asked if he is afraid to lose Lee, who has risen to become one of the top players of Rain or Shine since the team drafted him second overall in 2011, Guiao gave a very firm response.
“Hindi ako pupuwedeng matakot na mawala siya. Andami ko ngang nawalang player sa team ko, lahat ng magagaling nawala sa team ko, from the beginning (of my career),” he said.
“Bakit naman ako matatakot? Napaghandaan na rin naman namin (if ever he’ll leave),” declared Guiao. “Mayroon na kaming understanding … nasa kay Paul na yun!’
The Pampanga first district congressman also expressed concern as Lee’s whereabouts remain a mystery, even to the people close to him.
“Nagtataka nga ako eh. Kasi pati mga magulang niya hindi alam kung nasaan siya. Pati mga teammate niya hindi siya makontak, pati mga kabigan niya hindi siya makontak,” said Guiao.
A source told Spin.ph that Rain or Shine management already sent emissary to locate Lee at his condominium as well as his parents house in condo, with no success.
“Wala, hindi namin makontak. Hindi namin alam kung nagtatago o ayaw talagang makipag-usap,” said a high-ranking Rain or Shine official.
Spin.ph also tried to contact Lee’s girlfriend, Rhubie Chua, but her number is also unavailable.
Information reaching Spin.ph bared that only Lee’s agent, Lawrence Chongson, knows where the 25-year old guard is staying since his arrival from the Fiba World Cup in Seville, Spain.
Here is a podcast of full interview with Guiao:
Guiao admitted he is at a loss.
“Sayang ang pagkakataon, dapat sana nag-uusap na. Nagtataka ako kasi si Gabe (Norwood) dumating kahapon, pero andun sa ensayo. Si Jeff (Chan) naman nagpahinga lang,” said Guiao.
“Kung gusto naman niyang magpahinga, pwede naman siyang magpasabi. Pwede naman siya pagpahingahin.
“Kaso bakit ganun? Walang pasabi. Out of reach, out of touch. Ang usapan namin pagdating niya mag-uusap kami,” he said. “Kung gusto niyang makipag-usap bakit hindi pa sila nakikipag-usap?”