PBA: New look Paul Lee works on building body amid lockdown

'Smart training' keeps Lee fit, healthy
paul lee
With the PBA on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Magnolia Hotshots ace guard Paul Lee focused on improving his body by observing healthy diet and getting into daily workouts amid the lockdown since March. (Photo from Paul Lee's Instagram @lethalweapon03)

If there is anything good that happened to Magnolia Hotshots ace guard Paul Lee during the lockdown period, it’s the resolve to change his eating habits and be more concerned for his body.

Lee said that two months into the lockdown, which started in mid March because of the coronavirus pandemic, he felt he had to do something to improve.

“Inalam ko lahat about sa katawan ko. Pinagmasdan ko yung mga kinakain, tapos nag-try ako three weeks kinakain ko lahat. Problema walang nangyari sa katawan ko kahit tumakbo pa ako… so doon ko nalaman na pagkain talaga problema,” Lee told Manila Bulletin Wednesday.

“Pero grabe pinagdaanan ko. Ang hirap din sa umpisa mag-diet, pero ngayon naglalaro yung weight ko sa 194 to 198 pounds. Before that nasa 215 ako,” added the 2012 Rookie of the Year.

The former University of the East star said diet plus the workout he’s been doing produced good results not only on his weight, but also on his frame, which he said surprised many of his Magnolia teammates, the coaching staff and management.

In his social media posts, Lee showed his now chiseled body.

“Gulat silang lahat,” said Lee, who won Best Player of the Conference during the 2018 Governors’ Cup.

“Pero honestly now mas magaan na ang pakiramdam ko and tingin ko medyo bumilis ako ng konti. Pero ang pinaka OK is nawala yung mga sakit-sakit sa tuhod ko,” said Lee, one of four players who rotates at the 1-2 positions for Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

Since he entered the league in 2011, Lee is used to playing with a chubby frame when he joined Rain or Shine and instantly became a member of the “Extra Rice” squad with former teammates Beau Belga and JR Quinahan.

While he was effective even with that weight, it eventually took its toll as Lee started to have problems with his knee. He was often injured during his ROS stint, and partly with Magnolia.

In late 2017, Lee had surgery on his troublesome left knee to repair a torn lateral meniscus. While he didn’t experience any injury since then, he said there were still occasional aches.

But now that he shredded off several pounds, Lee hopes for the best.

“Maintain na ako mag-ganito hanggang matapos career ko. Smart training na tayo ngayon. Ang maganda kasi parang na restart utak ko (during this lockdown). Kasi ang haba nung time na yun two months away from basketball.

“Pinakamahaba ko na tong break sa basketball. Tumatanda na din ako so medyo kailangan ko na alagaan maige sarili ko. Ito yung positive na nakuha ko during lockdown.”

Since the lockdown level is back to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila, Lee said he would continue to work online with the rest of the Magnolia team, and will only resume with personal training if allowed.

“Mga drills lang, dribbling and foot works. Mga small details lang. Running importante. Malaking bagay yung tumatakbo, Sunday lang ang off ko, so take advantage lang din ako