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LEE PACES RAIN OR SHINE’S LETHAL START

KEEPING his game sharp despite a long layoff is netting Paul Lee and, consequently, Rain or Shine nice dividends.

Last season’s Rookie of the Year has produced some fine performances for the Elasto Painters in the PBA Governors’ Cup, giving him the unanimous nod as Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period August 14 to 18.

In that span, the sophomore highlighted his all-around performance with averages of 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, helping head coach Yeng Guiao’s squad notch back-to-back wins that launched its title-retention bid on a very bright note.

Guiao is foremost among those pleased with the current game of Lee.

“Paul worked very hard in the off-conference. He deserves whatever success he is reaping right now,” said Guiao, who is personal witness to the amount of work put in by Lee after the Commissioner’s Cup last May. 

“Consistency was a problem for Paul early in his career but he has matured and so has his game.  Paul is the future of this team.  We will hear a lot more from him,” added Guiao.

For the 24-year-old Lee, it was a matter of keeping his game attuned to what the team needs, especially with Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood being rested following their Gilas Pilipinas stint.

“We just followed coach Yeng’s instructions. Well prepared naman yung team namin kahit wala pa sina Gabe and Jeff. Sabi lang ni coach Yeng, ‘Be ready.’ Buti naman nag-respond yung team,” related Lee.

“Sa game ko naman nag-prepare lang talaga ako ng sobra nu’ng off-season,” added the former University of the East standout who is also averaging 2.50 assists and 1.0 block per game so far in the conference.

Lee’s work ethics were immediately translated into 12 points, three rebounds and two blocks, leading the locals who backstopped Arizona Reid in a 79-75 squeaker over last year’s runnerup San Mig Coffee on opening day last week.

The 6-1 combo guard was at it again two days later, scoring 15 points and seven rebounds in a more comfortable 94-74 victory over Globalport.

In getting the scribes’ nod, Lee edged out teammate Ryan Arana, Talk ‘N Text’s Sean Anthony and Barako Bull rookie Eman Monfort for the season-ending tourney’s first citation. (NC)

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