Alaska’S much-anticipated debut will have to wait until tomorrow after the Office of the PBA Commissioner cancelled yesterday’s game because of the continuous rains that submerged practically the whole of Metro Manila.
Instead of having Talk ‘N Text as an initial Governors’ Cup foe, the Aces, the Commissioner’s Cup champion, will battle Globalport at 5:15 p.m. tomorrow also at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao as they try to get their bid for a second straight title going on a bright note.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine point guard Paul Lee, stepping up in the absence of national team members Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan, was the unanimous choice as the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for games played from Aug. 14-18.
With the defensive-minded Norwood and the streak-shooting Chan sitting out the Elasto Painters’ first game and playing a combined 23 minutes in the second, Lee went on to average 13.5 points and six rebounds as Rain or Shine won both.
Norwood and Chan helped the Gilas Pilipinas national five to a silver medal finish in the recent 27th Fiba-Asia Championship, and like most of their teammates there, were given time to rest by their respective mother teams.
“Paul worked very hard in the off-conference. He deserves whatever success he is reaping right now,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who personally witnessed the amount of work put in by Lee after the Commissioner’s Cup.
Lee won the Rookie of the Year award last season but was absent when the Painters won this tournament in a seven-game series against San Mig Coffee.
The 6-foot, former University of the East stalwart missed the last five games after dislocating his shoulder in Game 2 of the title series against the Mixers, as the entire team rallied behind its fallen star to win a breakthrough title.
Lee obviously wants to make up for lost time.
“I really prepared hard in the off-season,” Lee said. “In our first two games, we just followed coach Yeng’s instructions because we knew we wouldn’t have Gabe and Jeff. It’s a good thing that the entire team responded.”
Incidentally, Guiao will have a complete lineup at his disposal when the Painters try to make it three straight by clashing with Petron Blaze and his former chief lieutenant, Gee Abanilla. That game is set at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.