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Paul Lee braces for mental health struggles PBA bubble will bring

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If mental health struggles affect NBA players, the very same thing could also happen to PBA cagers.

Paul Lee is very aware of that reality, now that the league has entered its bubble in Clark for the resumption of Season 45.

The spitfire guard and the rest of his Magnolia Hotshots were the very first team to arrive at the former US military base, Monday.

“Nung nakita ko ‘yung kay Paul George, naisip ko rin siya na pwedeng mangyari sa’min,” Lee told 2OT Monday, speaking all the way from the Quest Hotel where the PBA will be housed for the next two months.

The eight-year pro has in mind the case of Paul George, who bravely opened up about his struggles as life inside the NBA bubble had affected him.

George, 30, struggled immensely in the first four games of the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round playoff encounter with the Dallas Mavericks.

The versatile 6-foot-8 scorer then redeemed himself in the Clips’ 154-11 Game Five win. Afterwards, he talked about how he was in a bad place mentally.

“The bubble got the best of me,” George said post-game.

“I was just in a dark place. I checked out. This past couple of games, it was just difficult.”

The admission also gave many, including Lee himself, a glimpse of the psychological repercussions of the bubble life.

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“Sobrang mental nun eh. Alam mo ‘yung sobrang sama ng laro mo, tapos ikaw lang sa loob ng kuwarto? ‘Di ba? ‘Yun ‘yung mabigat,” he reflected.

“Kasi madali ‘yung … Kunwari normal life, may laro ka sa PBA, sobrang sama ng laro mo, At the end of the day pag-uwi mo, kasama mo family mo, makakalimutan mo ‘yung game. Pero ito sobrang hirap nito for sure.”

And so the three-time champion believes that the test isn’t just on the court, but on one’s mental fortitude as well.

“Dito, kung sino ‘yung pinakamatibay ‘yung mental, mas makakatulong ‘yun sa game niya lalo na ‘pag naglaro ka, nagkaroon ka ng bad game,” he said.

“‘Yung schedule natin ngayon every other day, so kailangan matuto ka na makalimutan agad ‘yun and prepare for the next game.”

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