PAUL Lee couldn't help but smile upon realizing that he has become bridge between the past and the future of Gilas Pilipinas.
As one of five holdovers from the Gilas side that played in the 2014 Fiba World Cup, Lee has become both leader and mentor as the national team makes the transition to the 2019 World Cup and the 2023 showpiece which the Philippines will co-host.
Lee was the youngest of the Gilas guards in the Spain at 25. Now he has become a mentor to the likes of Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, and Robert Bolick who he expects to lead the team in the 2023 Fiba World Cup.
"Yung guards natin, ok na eh. Si CJ, Robert, at Kiefer, ok na yan sa 2023. Sana tumaas pa yung level ng laro nila dahil sobrang taas ng potential na nakikita ko sa kanila," said the Magnolia star guard.
Lee believes the sky is the limit for the development of his younger teammates.
"Ang maganda same age lang sila," he said of Ravena and Perez, both 25, and Bolick, 23.
"Sana wag sila tumigil dito at mag-improve pa sila ng sobra. Mag-grow pa sila para sa team looking to the next World Cup."