PBA All-Stars coach Tim Cone said national pool addition Paul Lee could be a strong candidate for Gilas Pilipinas’ final lineup after seeing the Rain or Shine guard play impressively in the short time he has been in the team.
Cone said Lee’s good ball handling and ability to break down the defense, which caught the PBA selection flat-footed several times in Gilas' 101-93 win in the All-Star Game - could come in handy for the team bound for the Fiba World Cup and Asian Games.
“I thought Paul Lee looked pretty good playing for them (Gilas squad). He broke us down quite easily a lot of time. He really was an impact player out there,” Cone said at the end of the midseason showpiece at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I don’t want to usurp Chot at all, but he (Lee) looks like a guy who could be on that (Gilas) team,” he added.
The 6-0 Lee, one of three new additions to the Gilas pool along with Rain or Shine teammate Beau Belga and Meralco's Jared Dillinger, scored five points, grabbed two rebounds and added an assist in his debut for the national squad.
When asked to comment on Cone’s thoughts on his first game with the Gilas team, Lee said praise from the league's most successful coach will be a good boost to his confidence.
“Siyempre masaya dahil kahit paano, nakita nila yung nagawa ko. Malaking bagay at dagdag pa 'yun (Cone’s comment) sa kumpiyansa ko sa paglalaro,” said Lee.