Lee out of Gilas 5 due to bum knee? | Inquirer Sports

Lee out of Gilas 5 due to bum knee?

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 02:51 AM May 21, 2016

PAUL Lee, the superstar Rain or Shine point guard who has a solid shot at securing a slot in the Gilas Pilipinas team, has a knee condition that could keep him out of the national roster that will shoot for an Olympic berth in a qualifying tournament next month.

Lee’s PBA coach, Yeng Guiao, confirmed this to the Inquirer yesterday as he gave Lee the sole decision on whether to suit up for the July 5 to 11 tournament given the current state of his knee.

“We (Rain or Shine management) told Paul to talk to his doctors and later on decide on what he wants to do,” Guiao said over the phone as Lee, together with teammates Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood and Alaska’s Calvin Abueva are expected at Gilas camp no later than Tuesday.

Guiao disclosed that the condition of the 6-foot Lee, the Finals MVP in the Elasto Painters’ 4-2 conquest of the Aces, has been so delicate this season that Lee was never made to join the team in hard practices.

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“Basically, when we practice, Paul just walks through,” Guiao said. “We never extended him because every time he goes for a hard grind, doctors have to drain fluid out of his knee.

“He’s just such a gifted player that he can excel even without that much practice with the team,” added Guiao, who won a seventh coaching title with a lot of help from the former University of the East ace in the UAAP.

The Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) will stake just one berth for the Rio de Janeiro Games in August and Guiao and Lee know that everyone aspiring to make the team will have to extend himself to get there.

Gilas, according to national coach Tab Baldwin, will leave on June 11 for Greece for a nine-day back-breaking camp before proceeding to Turkey to play its national team.

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After that, the Filipinos will take part in a pocket tournament in Italy where they will get the chance to play Tony Parker and France, China and the home team.

Guiao also said that should Lee decide to play, Rain or Shine would be willing to give him a week or two off in the season-ending Governors’ Cup, set to open on July 15.

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“We are willing to sacrifice 2 or 3 games (without Lee in the Governors’ Cup) but he must be able to assure us that he will be 100 percent when he comes back,” Guiao said.

Gilas had already lost Greg Slaughter and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser to injuries earlier in the week.

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TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas, qualifying, Rain or Shine, tournament

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