Belga agrees to fresh 3-year deal, ROS hopes Lee will accept max offer

Despite losing valuable backup up big man JR Quinahan to GlobalPort, Rain or Shine managed to get an assurance from veteran slotman Beau Belga that he’ll be signing the team’s three-year, maximum deal next Monday.

Quinahan was shipped to GlobalPort for veteran Fil-American Jay Washington on Thursday as Rain or Shine lost a vital piece from its solid core.

Rain or Shine board governor Atty. Mamerto Mondragon said hey tried convincing the Cebuano center/forward to accept their proposal, but Quinahan wanted a longer contract deal.

“Talagang up to the last day, we tried to convince him (Quinahan) to stay, pero siyempre naintindihan ko naman dahil very limited naman ang panahon ng paglalaro nila,” Mondragon told FOX Sports on Thursday.

“Medyo masakit din sa amin pero ang maganda lang, naintindihan namin siya at naintindihan din naman niya kami.”

But the amiable Rain or Shine team executive said they are happy that Belga, Quinahan’s former partner in the much-ballyhooed “Extra Rice, Inc.” has agreed to stay with the team despite losing fiery coach Yeng Guiao to NLEX last week.

“Nagkausap na kami ni Beau at pumayag naman siya to stay, so by Monday, pipirma na siya sa amin ng three years na max (deal) din,” shared Mondragon.

While terms of condition weren’t revealed, the former Philippine Christian University slotman’s maximum, three-year deal with the Elasto Painters is worth P15.12 million, or a monthly salary of P420,000.

Belga, whose contract is set to expire this October, averaged 8.07 points, 5.19 rebounds and 1.81 assists this season, helping Rain or Shine win the Commissioner’s Cup title.

Meantime, Mondragon is hopeful that Paul Lee will choose to stay with the team and accept management’s offer of a fresh, three-year maximum deal.

The six-foot combo guard is one of the most sought after players this offseason as his previous two-year contract is set to expire at the end of this month.

There have been rumors that Ginebra is keen on trading for Lee, but Mondragon said they intend to keep the former Rookie of the Year within their backyard.

“Three years din ang offer namin sa kanya (Lee), so gumawa na din ako ng tamang offer pabalik sa kanya na pinadala ko sa email at nagpadala na rin ako ng sulat. Ang tanging pakiusap niya lang is hintayin yung manager niya,” Mondragon said.

“Sana maglaro pa rin siya sa amin,” he added.

Lee’s representative, Lawrence Chongson is still in the United States and will only be back on Oct. 20.

Rain or Shine recently locked fresh deals with explosive guard Jericho Cruz, big man Raymond Almazan and lockdown defender Jireh Ibanes last week.

The Elasto Painters return to practice next Monday under Caloy Garcia, who has been elevated to the head coaching position. – Richard Dy

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