PAUL Lee picked the perfect time to prove he’s near peak form again, shining brightest for Rain or Shine in its 124-99 Game Four semifinal win over San Miguel Beer that enabled the Elasto Painters to advance to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The E-Painters star guard, hampered by knee issues since the start of the season, showed his vintage form, tallying a team-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, along with five assists, and two rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.
“Buenas kasi dito pa lumabas yung best game ko (this season),” Lee said. “Happy ako na nagpi-peak yung laro ko, sakto na papasok sa finals.”
“Maganda yun para sa akin na kahit papaano, wala akong iniinda,” he added. “So tuloy ko lang yung ginagawa ko para bumalik rin yung game ko agad.”
Lee deflected credit to his teammates, saying it took a balanced effort that saw eight players score in double figures and all ROS players register in the scoring column in the close-out game.
“Hindi lang naman ako, ung buong team talagang binuhos lahat para makuha yung panalo,” Lee said.
E-Painters coach Yeng Guiao feels Lee is jelling well particularly with younger counterparts Jericho Cruz and Maverick Ahanmisi.
“Paul Lee is getting his game back,” Guiao said. “He’s combining well with our other guards, so we’re looking for that old chemistry of ours, this time with new ingredients like Jericho and Maverick.”
Lee believes this is the E-Painters best chance to end their four-year title drought as they await the winner of the Alaska-Meralco series.
“Best chance para sa amin lahat,” Lee said. “Yung 2012, medyo matagal na yun, so pagtrabahuhan lang namin kung gusto namin talaga. Hopefully makuha namin.”
“Ang dami na naming championship na pinaglaruan pero hindi namin nakukuha,” he added. “Ang hirap naman kung mag-start ka ulit ng regular season, semifinals, o quarterfinals. Mahirap makarating dito.”