Paul Lee left in awe after first PBA face-off with Kiefer Ravena: 'Malayo mararating n'ya'
Kiefer Ravena and Paul Lee shake hands after their first PBA face-off. Jerome Ascano

IN the eyes of Paul Lee, Kiefer Ravena is a battle-scarred veteran masquerading as a rookie.

“Sobrang galing nung bata. Kapag hindi mo siya kilala, kapag pinanood mo siya ngayon iisipin mo matagal na siya sa liga,” said Lee after playing against Ravena in the PBA for the first time in a 105-94 win by Magnolia over NLEX on Sunday night.

“Hinog na hinog na siya. Ok na siya rito sa PBA.”

Ravena torched Magnolia for a new career-high 31 points (12-of-20), four rebounds, and five assists in a game which unfortunately, went down the drain as the Road Warriors suffered their second straight loss for an even 2-2 record.

Lee, 28, had a hand in that as he led a huge third-quarter run where he drained 12 of his team-high 21 points, including a couple of baskets from way beyond the three-point arc.

The Magnolia combo guard hit 4-of-6 from three-point region and added three rebounds, and four assists to even things up in his marquee match-up with Ravena, who, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said reminds him a lot of Lee.

“First time namin na magkatapat. Buti nakapag-perform ako sa game ngayon,” he said with a sigh of relieve.

Yet despite winning his initial battle against the No. 2 overall pick in the last draft, Lee sees the former Ateneo stalwart going a long way in the league.

“Malayo ang mararating niya rito sa PBA,” he said. “Talagang very talented, gifted yung bata. Andun na yun, nasa kanya na yun.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos