Johnson elbow knocks off Paul Lee tooth but fails to take bite off RoS guard's game
Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee has his teeth checked out by TnT consultant and Gilas coach Tab Baldwin after taking a hit from an Ivan Johnson elbow. Jaime Campos

LIKE his willingness to return on the court after suffering a teeth injury, Paul Lee gamely answered questions despite having a hard time speaking.

The Rain or Shine star guard assured he will play in Game Four of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals after losing a front tooth, while getting two other teeth stuck in, following a hit from the left elbow of Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson in Game Three.

“Oo naman, lalaro pa rin ako kahit anong mangyari,” the Tondo native said.

“Kahit anong mangyari sa akin, babalik ako; masaktan ako, babalik ako,” he added. “Gusto ko matapos 'yung championship series talaga.”

Lee already proved it by checking back into the game with over four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, dishing out an assist to a Gabe Norwood dunk that gave the Painters a 107-90 lead.

The former Rookie of the Year insisted to coach Yeng Guiao that he return after he getting hit by an elbow midway through the third quarter after drawing a charge from Johnson.

“Sinabi ko babalik talaga ako. Kailangan ko ipakita sa teammates ko na gusto kong manalo.”

Lee went straight to hospital after the game to have his teeth checked out.

Guiao lauded his ward for his character.

“He’s already playing hurt,” the outspoken mentor said of Lee, who has sprained his ankle twice already in this playoffs. “But he really wants to win a championship.”  

Lee was sidelined by an injury when the Painters won their first title in the 2012 Governors Cup.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos