WHETHER Paul Lee suits up against his former team or not will be known as Magnolia takes on Rain or Shine on Saturday when the PBA Philippine Cup goes on the road at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.
The former E-Painters and current Hotshots star has missed the last two games due to a high ankle sprain, and Magnolia coaches have remained tightlipped on the status of Lee for the Petron Saturday Special that tips off at 5 p.m.
Hotshots coach Chito Victolero, though, hinted after their 77-76 loss to San Miguel Beer last Sunday that Lee could be back in harness against the E-Painters.
“I think ready na siya next game,” Victolero said then as the Hotshots seek their seventh win in nine games that would enable them to grab the solo lead in the standings after gaining a piece of it following SMB’s stunning loss to Blackwater on Friday night.
Before their loss to their one-point loss to the Beermen, The Hotshots had been on a roll, winning their last five games.
“Magnolia is I think the hottest team right now and I think Paul will play in that game,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said after their 90-84 win over Meralco last week that came two days before the Hotshots saw their win streak get snapped. “I think we just have to think on how we can get better.”
The E-Painters are starting to build their own momentum after winning back-to-back games that moved them to .500 at 4-4 and they are leaning on another balanced effort, including that from former Purefoods franchise player James Yap, Lee’s trade partner in that blockbuster deal last season.