MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee would rather not think about the possibility of getting Larry Fonacier’s spot in the final roster of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The 25-year-old versatile player stressed that they still have to prove themselves worthy of the spot when they undergo their training camp in Miami and Spain.
“So far hindi ko muna iniisip yon, masfocused muna ako sa practice namin sa games namin ngayon,” Lee said before he and the rest of the Gilas training pool flew to Miami last Friday.
“Wala pa namang sure [sa amin]. Sabi ni Coach Chot [Reyes] depende sa mga lalaruin namin sa mga tuneup games namin sa Spain at saka sa Miami.”
Many local fans want Lee to make the final line-up after Fonacier pulled out due to injury.
Lee made a splash in the recent FIBA Asia Cup, with the Philippines making its best finish with a bronze medal win.
Lee averaged 14.75 points during their first four games in that tilt and buried the crucial free throws against China that secured Gilas’ third place finish.
For his part, LA Tenorio admitted that they aren’t sure about who’s going to make it in the final line up for the FIBA World and the Asian Games. But he favors the inclusion of Lee in the “Magic 12.”
“Si Paul Lee ang papalit daw [kay Fonacier], ‘di man namin sure kung siya, pero kung si Paul Lee man ang papalit malaking bagay yun. We saw it naman na si Paul Lee can really fit with the system of Coach Chot [Reyes],” said the Barangay Ginebra guard.
He added that Lee can bring a lot to the table as far as skills are concerned.
“I think malaking bagay din na maka makapasok si Paul, very versatile player, marami siyang pwedeng magawa.” -- With a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News