PAUL Lee is making an effort to play smarter as he nurses a right shoulder injury in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals series against TNT.
Lee played his best game in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals after scoring 21 points in the 106-98 win despite visibly being bothered by a shoulder injury.
Lee’s right shoulder is heavily wrapped, and there was even one time that he favored it will battling for a loose ball against RR Pogoy in Game 3.
The Magnolia guard said he has no choice but to play through it.
“Wala naman na akong magagawa,” said Lee. “Magpahinga man ako, masakit pa rin. Ilalaro ko na lang.”
Due to the injury, there is a concerted effort on Lee’s part to take higher-percentage attempts. In fact, Lee only hoisted two threes in the game, making one, his second made conversion from behind the arc in the series.
“Sa akin, naging smart lang ako,” said Lee, who could only churn 12 points in each of the first two games that were obviously not enough for Magnolia. “Kung ‘yung before, naglalaro ako ng malayo sa three points, siguro ngayon, mas pinili ko maglaro sa paint or below the three-point line lang nilalaro ko.”
“Hindi ko ma-control ‘yung tira ko kapag lumagpas o lumalayo ako sa three points. Drive lang ako at tiwala lang ako kung ano pinaghirapan ko nung offseason.”
Paul Lee inspired by Barroca
Lee said his injury was described to him by the doctors as the shoulder’s version of a sprained ankle. But the Magnolia star said he is inspired by Mark Barroca’s ability to play through pain as he is also nursing with a hamstring injury.
Because of Barroca’s attitude, there is no reason why he can’t do the same.
“Na-motivate ako kay Mark Barroca. Grabe ‘yung tao. Nasaktan talaga siya ng sobra pero nakita naman natin na binigay niya sa laro talaga. There’s no reason na mag-give up ako. Kung ano nararamdaman ko, set aside muna namin,” Lee said.
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