Gilas Pilipinas suffered another huge casualty after Rain or Shine’s combo guard Paul Lee pulled himself out of the national pool due to a nagging left knee injury.
The six-foot guard known locally for his moniker “Angas ng Tondo”, attended Gilas’ practice on Tuesday and personally relayed the unfortunate news to national coach Tab Baldwin.
Lee, who was named the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP last week, said he still has a partial tear on both the lateral meniscus and ITB (iliotibial band) tendons on his left knee. He normally had to drain fluids on his left knee during the playoffs before being able to resume activity.
“Sinabi ko kay coach at alam na din ng buong team yung injury ko kasi kailangan ko mag-session dahil nung makausap ko yung doctor, sabi nga na matagal siya ma-heal, so kailangan ko mag-PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma),” Lee told media men after Gilas’ Tuesday morning practice at the Meralco gym.
The shifty Rain or Shine guard said it will take about 5 to 6 weeks for the injury to heal.
“Nalulungkot din ako, lalo na dito sa
atin gaganapin (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament), pero kailangan ko na mag-skip dahil wala na tayong magagawa,” he said.
“Kailangang ipahinga dahil kung hindi, madami tayong masasagasaan, at baka pati pa yung next conference,” added the “Lee-thal Weapon.”
The soft-spoken Lee actually missed the first half of the Commissioner’s Cup eliminations due to the injury, before gradually regaining his old form in the playoffs.
Lee now joins Barangay Ginebra slotman Greg Slaughter (ankle) and TNT wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser (toe and foot) at the sidelines. – By Richard Dy
Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava