Gilas Pilipinas’ injury woes continue to pile up and the latest casualty is none other than 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP Paul Lee.
The Rain or Shine guard has decided to sit out national team duties due to his left knee injury, which has hounded him for the majority of the PBA season.
“Nasabi ko na yung situation ko. Skip talaga ako,” he said.
Lee talked to coach Tab Baldwin just before the start of Tuesday’s morning practice at Meralco Gym to explain his unfortunate situation.
“Medyo lumuwag din yung pakiramdam ko. Tinanong ako ni coach Tab kung out na ba ako. Sabi ko, ‘Yes coach.'”
After Rain or Shine won the championship, Lee has already hinted doubts of him being cleared to play for the national team due to his still recovering knee.
“Titignan ko pa. Di pa kasi ako bumabalik sa doktor ko,” he said after that Game 6 victory over Alaska. “Alam namin yung sitwasyon ko. Meron pa ring punit, yung fluids na tinatanggal every three games dahil sobrang dami talaga. Namamaga yung tuhod ko at di ko ma-bend. Tiniis ko lang talaga, kumapit lang kay God na matapos ko ito.”
While Lee said he did not want to miss Gilas’ bid for a spot in the Rio Olympics, his body is just not up to it.
“Malungkot para sa akin, lalo na’t dito sa atin gagawin yung laro,” he said. “Masakit para sa akin na mag-skip ngayon pero wala tayong magagawa dahil kailangang ipahinga ito.”
His focus now is getting his knee back to full health, hoping continuous sessions of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment will help him fully heal his partially torn tendon.
“Kailangan ko ng session ng PRP ulit kasi medyo matagal mag-heal yung napunit sa akin. After ng PRP, five to six weeks. Immobilized talaga. Medyo matagal maghilom kaya kailangan talaga mag-session at pahinga din,” he said.
Greg Slaughter and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser earlier were ruled out from the pool after both players incurred ankle injuries.