WHILE management of San Miguel Corp. is mum on reports that it wants Paul Lee, fans of its three PBA teams have weighed in or where the wantaway Rain or Shine star should go.
Paul Samson, a longtime San Miguel Beer supporter and now SMB forum moderator, said he believes Lee is the 'missing link' for the Beermen - a take-charge guard the team has not had since the glory days with Hector Calma, Franz Pumaren and Olsen Racela.
"Paul Lee is a go-to guy aside from being a playmaker. He is someone that SMB is missing especially in clutch situations where the Beermen often falters because no one steps up," said the Davao City-based Samson.
Rain or Shine management has been vocal in asking for a big man in exchange of Lee, but Samson is not ready to part with prized center June Mar Fajardo.
"Hindi naman siguro kami papayag na mga fan na si June Mar ang kapalit. Paul Lee is Paul Lee, but we cannot break the core of our team for him," he added.
Rabid San Mig Coffee fan Marco Manipon was also all praises for Lee, but feels the timing for a possible move to the Mixers camp may not be right at this time when the team is coming off a grand slam.
"Kung fan ako, parang fantasy league. Gusto ko si Paul sa amin. Bakit hindi. Kasi Paul Lee 'yan. Superstar, maangas saka may marketing," said Manipon, who is also a basketball blogger.
Manipon said it's a risk to tinker with the team's chemistry at this time.
"Pero para sa akin, hindi ngayon ang perfect timing. Kasi galing sa controversy with him sa finals, tapos may James Yap, Mark Barroca at PJ Simon pa kami plus the fact that galing ang San Mig sa grand slam.
"Mahirap galawin ang chemistry," he said.
But the most persistent in wishing to have Lee in their fold are fans of Barangay Ginebra.
Diehard fan Eva Soriano, the same Gin Kings supporter we interviewed on the boycott issue three months ago, said he is thrilled at the possibility of havng Lee in the Ginebra lineup.
"Wow, exciting 'yan. Gustong gusto namin 'yan. Si Paul Lee ang player na never say die. Puso kung puso kung lumaro yan," said Soriano of Lee, an avowed Ginebra fan growing up.
"Maangas lumaro yan. Kailangan namin ng ganyan. Saka isa pa ... Open na open si Paul Lee sa pagsabing fan din siya ng Ginebra, tulad ko," she added.
Aside from this, Soriano also gave one major reason why she wants Lee to be in their team.
"Madalas kasi si Paul ang best player 'pag kalaban ng Ginebra ang Rain or Shine, kaiinis," she said laughing.
Meantime, loyal Rain or Shine fan Abbey Alcaine has a different take.
The charming Quezon City native admitted having to endure sleepless nights since the issue of Lee's request to be traded came out.
"Malaking contribution si Paul Lee sa RoS. Siya ang mukha ng koponan namin. Natuto akong sumuporta dito dahil isa siya sa mga reasons dun. Sana he'll stay," said Alcaine, who sent us a fan sign statement egging the Tondo dribbler to 'please stay.'
In the Yeng Guiao era at Rain or Shine, Lee stands to become the first superstar of the team to bolt the team. Rain or Shine had problems with Beau Belga last year, but the burly Gubat, Sorsogon pride decided to accept the maximum contract tendered by the Elasto Painters.
Alcaine hopes Lee will do the same.
"Sana naman po huwag mabulabog ang roster namin. Isa na nga kami sa three most popular teams, tapos mangyayari pa yan," said Alcaine.
"Mabuti nga at may team na bumabalanse sa liga gaya ng Rain or Shine kahit pa may mga higanteng teams na may napakaraming superstars," she lamented.
Another Rain or Shine fan, Villy Santos, is keeping her fingers crossed that Lee will still change her mind.
"Sana magbago isip niya. Maximum naman ang alok. Alang-alang na lang sa pamilya ng players at fans ng Rain or Shine," said Santos, who was originally a Ronnie Matias fan.
"Nawala na nga si Ronnie sa Rain or Shine, sana naman mag stay siya dun. Tiwala lang, pagkatapos ng Fiba World Cup mag-i-stay siya, sana. Sana!" she said.