With his knee problem now well behind him, combo guard Paul Lee recaptured his old form to lead Rain or Shine back to the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The six-foot guard out of the University of the East banged in 18 points, issued five assists and added two rebounds, instigating Rain or Shine’s 124-99 rout of San Miguel Beer on the way to a 3-1 semifinal series victory.
Lee’s vintage performance earned him his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the conference as he beat Alaska forward Calvin Abueva for the period of April 25-May 1.
The former PBA Rookie of the Year, who averaged just 3.0 points in the quarterfinals against Tropang TNT, underscored his readiness to reassume his role as the team’s top gun.
Lee’s playing time was limited during his first 10 games this conference since recovering from a left knee injury, playing more as back up to young guards Jericho Cruz and Maverick Ahanmishi.
But that hardly mattered for the 27-year-old Lee, who reiterated that Rain or Shine’s series-clinching victory was a tribute to the Elasto Painters’ solid team play.
“Hindi lang naman ako, pero yung buong team talagang binuhos lahat para makuha yung panalo,” said Lee, whose team is back for a fourth Finals trip in the last three seasons.
The Elasto Painters lost to the Tropa in Game 7 of last season’s Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
Lee and the rest of the Elasto Painters hope they could finally complete their mission this time and end a four-year PBA title drought.
Rain or Shine won its only PBA championship during the 2012 Governors Cup, beating B-Meg (now Star), 4-3 in the Finals.