Paul Lee hopes to regain old form after recovering from hamstring injury

Photo from PBA

Paul Lee is hoping that his 32-point performance in Magnolia Pambansang Manok’s key win over San Miguel Beer will allow him to further regain his form following a hamstring injury early in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations.

The Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week dropped in 18 in the fourth quarter of the Hotshots’ 100-90 win Sunday, Sept. 19 to end their elims campaign at 8-3 while staying in the hunt for the second and last twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

In scoring a conference-high against a fellow contender in the Beermen, Lee was able to shake off some of the struggles he endured since nursing a hamstring injury in a 105-83 victory over Terrafirma last July 30 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Lee was fortunate that he wasn’t able to miss some games since the suspension of the Philippine Cup due an increase in COVID-19 cases gave him time to recuperate from his injury.

That, however, didn’t prevent the Magnolia star from struggling during the PBA resumption in Bacolor, averaging 15.2 points but on a 31-percent clip in six games prior to the SMB clash.

“Simula nung nagkainjury ako, naging rollercoaster laro ko,” Lee said after beating the Beermen at the Don Honorio Ventura State University.

“May araw na sobrang bigat ng pakiramdam ko. Pero kumapit ako and continue to wokrk hard para mabalik ko yung kundisyon ko talaga,” he added.

His hot shooting against SMB earned Lee the weekly honor handed by reporters covering the PBA, beating out TNT rookie Mikey Williams, who was also considered for his role in leading the Tropang Giga the top seed and twice-to-beat in the quarters.

Magnolia could gain at least the third seed and a best-of-three duel with the sixth-ranked squad in the quarters, but there’s still a chance of gaining the No. 2 seed and the twice-to-beat if Meralco slips up in its last two games.

Meralco, carrying a 7-2 record, plays NLEX and defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, needing just one win to clinch the twice-to-beat bonus.

What matters for Lee, however, is for Magnolia to be more consistent in the games that will have higher stakes.

“Siguro yung pinaka-kailangan lang namin gawin is yung pagiging consistent,” said Lee. “Kasi kung nagagawa naman namin ng isang beses, dalawang beses, o tatlong beses sa game, bakit di namin magawa ng buong game?

“So, for me yung talagang pagiging consistent lang namin ang kailangan sa game.”