ON the verge of winning its breakthrough Philippine Basketball Association title, Rain or Shine is more than pleased to welcome its best local player back to its lineup.
Rookie of the Year Paul Lee is ready to play in Game Five of the Governors Cup Finals when the Elasto Painters gun for their very first league championship against embattled B-Meg Llamados.
A Rain or Shine insider confirmed the availability of the combo guard out of University of the East for Wednesday night’s big game at the Araneta Coliseum, although it remains doubtful whether team management would risk playing Lee a week after re-injuring his dislocated left shoulder in a Game Two loss.
“Puwede na siyang maglaro, pero hindi rin natin alam kung gagamitin na siya,” said the team insider.
The Elasto Painters carry a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and there is no urgency to bring back Lee. Ironically, they won the last two games of the Finals in the absence of the 23-year-old Lee.
“That thing of Paul necessary to play for us to win, it’s not really true at this point,” said coach Yeng Guiao after Rain or Shine’ hard-earned 94-89 win over the Llamados in Sunday’s Game Four.
“The guys are proving it, TY Tang stepped up, Ronjay (Buenafe) stepped up. All the guys are making the contributions,” added the Rain or Shine mentor of his two bench players who combined for 24 points on Sunday night. Buenafe even completed a rare four-point play in the second and third quarters, respectively.
Lee’s left shoulder was in a sling during Game Three, but he showed up in playing attire on Sunday although Guiao opted not to field him in.
The Elasto Painters rookie is set to go under the knife shortly after the Finals.