A bad PBA Philippine Cup debut for Magnolia. A sorry start to the season for Paul Lee.
The 29-year-old Lee hurt his right thumb early in the second half, was taken out and never fielded back as the Hotshots absorbed an 80-75 loss to TnT Katropa at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday in their first game back since winning the Governors Cup championship last December.
Lee ended up scoreless in 13 minutes of play after aggravating the injury he already suffered in practice a day before their game against the Katropa.
He later showed the swollen thumb on his way out of the Magnolia dugout.
“Sumabit sa jersey (thumb) kahapon sa practice. Then yung kanina, napalo,” said Lee, clueless on who actually hit his thumb.
“Masakit lang talaga.”
At the most, Lee estimated a week would be enough to heal the injury. That should keep him out of the practice of Team Pilipinas in its buildup for the sixth window of the Fiba World Cup qualifiers.
“Ang talo lang dito kapag natamaan ulit, babalik sa dati,” he said. “So hopefully, huwag lang matamaan talaga.”
It was a double whammy for the Tondo native guard as the Hotshots lost against the Katropa, who leaned on Roger Pogoy’s five-point cluster in the final 2:38 of the grind-out game.
Pogoy scored five straight points, including a three-pointer that broke the game’s final deadlock for a 78-75 TnT lead. The Cebuano guard finished with a game-high 26 points.
“Of course disappointed kasi first game, e,” said Lee.
Then again, one game doesn’t make a conference, more so, an entire season, Lee added.
“Hindi naman made-determine dito yung conference or one season,” Lee stressed. “Good thing, we have one more week to prepare for San Miguel.”