HOTSHOT Paul Lee believes the humbling experience Rain or Shine suffered in the recent PBA Philippine Cup Finals would only make the team better.
He also believes that given another year or two of playing together, the Elasto Painters could become just like Talk `N Text – the same deep, cohesive, and poised unit that swept them in four games in the all-Filipino title series.
That’s why last year’s Rookie of the Year hopes Rain or Shine management decides against tinkering the current roster to preserve the camaraderie, talent, and cohesion - the same factors which were instrumental in the Tropang Texters' run to a third straight Philippine Cup championship.
“Sana huwag na magalaw `yung lineup namin. Puwede kaming maging parang Talk n’ Text,” said Lee, still amazed by how their Finals opponents played in sync and as one during the course of the best-of-seven series.
The Tondo-raised sophomore also defended the team’s lack of a big man to operate inside, saying his wide bodied but undersized teammates Beau Belga and JR Quinahan can readily make up for the deficit.
“Yun ang kulang namin talaga, kaya tignan mo nung kasama namin sa team si Jamelle (Cornley), wala kaming problema dun. Nag-champion pa kami,” Lee pointed out.
“Kaya naman nung dalawa (Belga and Quinahan) yun, i-develop lang sila na post-up player, tingin ko kaya na namin sumabay sa mga mas malalaking team.”
While they may have the size, Belga and Quinahan are more comfortable facing the basket or playing in the wings.
“Yung gitna talaga ang problema namin. Pag na-solusyunan yun, okay na yun,” Lee stressed.
Meanwhile, Lee said the night trip he had with his Rain or Shine teammates in Subic shortly after the Finals only solidified their bonding together.
He said: “Talagang may nabuo na kaming samahan, para na kaming magkakapatid. Willing nang mag-sacrifice sa isa’t isa kaya umaasa na mas magiging matagal pa ang samahan namin.”
With Lee in the Subic sojourn were Quinahan, Larry Rodriguez, Chito Jaime, and team captain Jireh Ibanes.