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    While fellow stars rest, Paul Lee already in top shape in preseason

    Work starts long before season starts for Lee-thal Weapon
    Jun 6, 2023
    paul lee pba on tour
    Paul Lee had 12 points in their PBA On Tour game against NLEX in Baliwag, Bulacan.
    PHOTO: pba images

    THE PBA On Tour is supposedly for bench players, 3x3 standouts, and rookie hopefuls to get significant playing time, make an impression on coaches and scouts, and earn respective roster spots in the future.

    A Magnolia superstar is using the preseason to prove he still deserves his place in the team.

    While rival stars are resting, Paul Lee looks like he's already in game shape and playing like it’s the regular season, averaging in double digits in scoring in the Hotshots’ unbeaten start.

    What’s his secret? The Lee-thal Weapon has been in the PBA long enough to know that the work should start long before the season starts.

    Paul Lee on offseason preparations

    “Kung ano ginagawa ko nung mga nakaraang offseason, ganun pa din yung ginagawa ko: spend time sa family and then the last week na natira dun sa bakasyon namin, ginagamit ko na siyang preparation going to the practice,” Lee said after a recent practice.

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    “Kasi may mga injury ako before sa tuhod na hindi na ako yung dating galing bakasyon, practice, okay lang,” he added. “Ngayon, kailangan mauna ako at least mga one week para makapag-load ako ng weights… Ngayon, kailangan ganun yung ginagawa ko para dahan-dahan nag-iimprove na yung katawan ko para maiwasan yung injury ulit.”

    The 34-year-old Lee insists he’s healthy now, although recently, the 2011 PBA Draft second overall pick who’s entering his 12th year in the league had fluids removed from his knee to prepare him for the Hotshots’ preseason campaign.

    A three-time champion, Lee is still hungry to win the next one, and he’s showing it through his offseason work, enabling the 6-foot gunner to score 11 points against Blackwater, a team-high 21 points versus Converge, and 12 points against NLEX.

    “Feeling ko maraming players na nagsa-start ng maaga bago bumalik ng practice talaga. Syempre nakakahiya naman na babalik ka sa team practice na, although wala naman masyadong ginagawa sa first day, second day ng team practice.”

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    “Pero syempre first impression pa din yan ng mga coaches eh, na, ‘Oh, wala ka sa kundiyson.’ So okay na lang na mauna ka sa team, kasi ikaw din yung magbe-benefit niyan eh.”

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      Lee, though, admits to giving in to comfort food, but he knows how to manage during vacations with wife Rubie and daughter Tokyo.

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      “Bina-balance ko din, kasi aminin natin: masarap naman talaga kumain, ‘di ba? Lalo na kung kasama mo family ko kumain, mag-out of the country kayo, bina-balance ko din,” Lee said, adding he eats anything, but controls his portions.

      “Pag alam kong aalis kami, mahabang break, ngayon pa lang, pumopondo na ako, like nagwo-work out, work out ako, Tapos yung kain ko, binabantayan ko. Para kapag dumating dun sa time na magba-bakasyon na kami, okay lang kahit na kumain ako ng kumain, kasi naka-pondo naman ako. Para pag balik ko, hindi rin ako mahirapan,” the pride of Tondo added.

      Being a pro for more than a decade makes it like clockwork for the former University of the East standout.

      “Lalo na nakuha ko na yung formula para sa katawan ko, kung ano yung dapat gawin, coming off a long break, coming off a hard game or practice, alam ko na kung paano ko siya ire-recover. Yun yung pinaka-importante sa akin ngayon na makuha ko, kasi it helps me along the way,” Lee said.

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      So is Lee, who played for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2014 Fiba World Cup, also fit enough to play in this year’s edition at home?

      “Kung papatawag and healthy naman, why not, ‘di ba? I’m just being ready,” Lee said. “Pero I think kung ipapatawag ako ngayon, I’m not fit to play sa ganung kind of level. Pero kung mag-start naman ako mag-training para mag-fit ako dun sa situation na yun, kaya naman.”

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      Paul Lee had 12 points in their PBA On Tour game against NLEX in Baliwag, Bulacan.
      PHOTO: pba images
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