MANILA, Philippines – Paul Lee returned like he never left.
Lee, last season’s Rookie of the Year, has been picking up where he left off as he carried Rain or Shine to the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals to earn the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honor from December 10 to 16.
The clutch guard played like he never sustained a shoulder injury that sidelined him since July.
In fact, the former University of the East standout appeared to even be more lethal in propelling the Elasto Painters past the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in their best-of-three quarterfinals series, where Lee averaged 18.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
“Paul came back from his shoulder operation like nothing happened,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao.
“He didn’t miss a beat,” added Guiao. “I actually think he even got better because of his four-month break.”
In the deciding third game, Lee tied his career-high with 25 points, 14 in the pivotal third period, where the E-Painters broke the game wide open.
“It sure is a lot easier to coach with somebody like Paul around,” noted Guiao. “It’s really a tribute to his talent and hard work why he is successful very early in his career.”
The second overall pick in 2011 dislocated his left shoulder in game 2 of the Governors Cup Finals against San Mig Coffee and did not return that left Lee feeling he had unfinished business with the Mixers.
“Hindi ko natapos iyon kaya ngayon mayroon akong opportunity na maipakita ko ang talent ko (I didn’t finish it so now I have a chance to show my talent),” said the 23-year-old. “Ito ang chance ko (This is my chance).”
He gets another crack Wednesday night.