Backed by overwhelming desire to suit up, players sometimes override anything and take risks to help their teams, no matter what the cost.
Paul Lee took such risk, playing in the Rain or Shine-San Miguel semi-finals duel even if he was not yet fully healed from his knee injury sustained during the start of the conference.
Lee eventually averaged 10.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 22 minutes of play a match, much more than what the team originally projected for the returning ace.
However, such risks have their setbacks. Lee found out his knee — the same one he injured at the start of the season — was swollen again.
“Ngayon ko lang rin (naramdaman) ay mamamaga sa loob,” a disappointed Lee shared Friday, after the Elasto Painters were booted out of the semi-finals, 4-2. “‘Di ko naman nararamdaman, pero nagtight na naman siya, yun ang nakita sa ultrasound.”
The backcourt star somehow felt regret after the development, making him think he should have not played at all to allow full recovery for his knee. “Bigla rin pumasok sa isip ko na sana pinahinga ko na lang, pero wala nang magagawa, nangyari na ulit. Naglaro rin naman ako,” he said.
“So back to zero ulit ako. Ito na siguro ang best chance ko para magpahinga and this time, bago ako bumalik, sureball nang malakas ang tuhod ko,” Lee said.
Lee will require three to four weeks of recovery, and this time he wants to make sure he is completely healthy before returning to high level competition. “Kasi kung pipilitin kong bumalik ng hindi ko sure na malakas, baka maulit lang ng maulit mangyari to,” he shared.
Another restart for Rain or Shine
“Sana talaga matanggal na tong pako na to. Ang tagal-tagal na eh,” Beau Belga said of the always the bridesmaid, never the bride storyline the team has had in recent history.
“Ako personally, maski may nararamdaman, may masakit, isinantabi ko muna. Sabi ko, one last push. Wala akong regret dahil hindi 70 percent, hindi 80 percent ang binigay ko,” Belga added.
But while the team fell short, head coach Yeng Guiao is still looking forward to building on the positives and making his team even more competitive.
“Yung makapasok ka ng semis, actually, okay na to eh. It is an accomplishment (given) the changes in our team. Ilang buwan pa lang naman ang team namin. And the good thing is we know we can get there,” Guiao said, sharing the struggles the team has had to weather throughout the Philippine Cup. “We’re still not ready for the finals, we are not yet ready to win a championship. The best thing we can do is to get ourselves ready, maybe next conference.”
Another road ended for Rain or Shine, but being one of the fiercest contenders in the league, the always win-now squad looks to go for another shot. The team will have to wait a bit longer, but the restart is very much imminent.