PAUL Lee rarely gets a start from Yeng Guiao these days. But when he does, the Rain or Shine combo guard makes the most of it.
Inserted in the starting lineup by Guiao for the first time in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, the former University of the East star scored 25 points to go with four rebounds and three assists in leading Rain or Shine to a 96-91 win over NLEX.
Lee also made his presence felt in the endgame, scoring eight of the team's last 13 points to hand the Elasto Painters their first win of the import-spiced tournament.
“Big challenge kasi para sa akin na every time i-start niya (Guiao) ako, dapat maganda agad start ko,” Lee said. “Pagtrabahuhin ko lang siguro kasi china-challenge niya lang ako, pero maganda rin para sa akin 'yun.”
The Rain or Shine star returned a few days and once again shone in a shootout with GlobalPort rising star Terrence Romeo, finishing with 25 points and five rebounds in the Painters' 104-98 victory.
He also made all five of his free throws at crunch time to help Rain or Shine survive a barrage of three-pointers from Romeo in the endgame.
Those two games were enough to give Lee Player of the Week honors for the period covering February 2 to 8 - a stretch where the Gilas Pilipinas standout averaged 25.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting a high 57.1 percent from the field and a perfect 16-of-16 from the free-throw line.
Despite the two wins and his own impressive numbers, Lee said Rain or Shine is nowhere near top form, ruing the team's inability to close out both games.
“Maganda naman ang start namin pero humahabol sila (opponents the past two games). Kaya di namin masabi na maganda na ang laro namin,” he said.
“Siguro, napa-practice lang yung character namin to close the game, pero maganda next time, kapag malaki na lamang, matapos all the way na malaki din ang lamang namin,” added Lee.
Rain or Shine shoots for its third straight win on Tuesday when it faces unbeaten Meralco at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.