Healthy Lee gives E-Painters more offensive options | Inquirer Sports

Healthy Lee gives E-Painters more offensive options

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 08:21 PM December 31, 2015

Paul Lee of Rain or Shine (dark)vs Dondon Hontiveros of Alaska Aces (light).  PBA IMAGE by Nuki Sabio

Paul Lee of Rain or Shine (dark)vs Dondon Hontiveros of Alaska Aces (light). PBA IMAGE by Nuki Sabio

Rain or Shine will be getting help when the Elasto Painters open their side of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup Final Four series against San Miguel Beer on Jan. 5.

Make that a lot of help—even if it will come from just one man.


Paul Lee, the superstar point guard many see as one of the league’s finest, will be making his season debut when the Elasto Painters and the Beermen start their best-of-seven clash for a finals berth in the season-opening conference on Jan. 5.


The 6-foot dynamo is expected to have completely recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the first 13 Rain or Shine games. Coach Yeng Guiao himself declared over the weekend that Lee will be available starting the semifinals.

Rain or Shine has managed to make do without Lee, going this deep in the playoffs by qualifying third after the eliminations and then ousting Blackwater and TNT in succession in the quarterfinals.

Guiao’s confidence in Lee is sky-high.

“Paul is so determined and talented that he will be there (in game mode) quickly,” said the multi-titled coach.

The Painters, who are playing in their eighth straight Final Four series—a record among active teams—will need all hands on deck against a San Miguel side teeming with so much talent and size.

Rain or Shine is in its ninth semifinal series in the last 10 conferences with the only slip-up coming in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup where the Painters blew a twice-to-beat advantage against Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals.


Lee, the 2011 Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star, has the size, heft and speed at the point.

Without Lee, the Painters played total team ball all conference long. And with his return, they are expected to get a chunk of his career averages of 13.6 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds for an added gun against San Miguel.

Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross and maybe even Ronald Tubid will be Lee’s counterparts at San Miguel, and the trio will make sure that Lee will also have a difficult time defensively against any of them.

The winner of this series will advance against the survivor of the GlobalPort-Alaska skirmishes in another best-of-seven playoff.

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June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, former MVPs both, will be Guiao’s main concern on defense and are the edge the Beermen have in the frontline.

TAGS: Elasto Painters, Rain or Shine, San Miguel

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