Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times


Thanks to Philippines stint, Lee Gwan Hee has become more confident

If there’s something that Lee Gwan Hee is thankful for, it’s the time he spent in the Philippines.

For the Seoul Samsung Thunders star, his stint with the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the Philippine Basketball Association in 2016 brought him some much-needed confidence.

The 6-foot-2 guard was signed by the Fuel Masters back in the 2016 Governors’ Cup, a time when the league allowed teams to pick Asian imports to add more spice to the competition.

Lee averaged just 7.6 points in the eliminations, but had 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting with six rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block – in a 136-125 loss to the TNT KaTropa.

2016-pba-governors-cup-tnt-def-phoenix-lee-gwan-hee Thanks to Philippines stint, Lee Gwan Hee has become more confident Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Photo from PBA Images

That game, which was a do-or-die quarterfinal, was the best game he ever had in the Filipino pro league.

“Because of the time I spent in the Philippines, I have confidence playing in abroad so that’s why I can do good in Japan, Macau, and the Philippines,” said the 30-year-old veteran.

Lee’s boosted confidence has been on display lately in the Asia League’s The Terrific 12 in Macau. On Wednesday, he played a huge role in helping the Thunders storm to the semifinals.

Lee had 17 points on 58 percent shooting from the floor, along with four rebounds, two assists, and a steal to steer Seoul to a 85-73 victory over the Shandong Xiwang Golden Stars.

“Maybe Korea isn’t the place where I need to play,” Lee then kidded, which drew laughter from the Korean press and led Samsung coach Lee Sangmin to tap him on the head while chuckling.

“Definitely, the time I spent in the Philippines helped me become a better player.”

iECO Green Warriors head coach Ariel Vanguardia, meanwhile, is happy to see that Lee has blossomed into who he is right now – Vanguardia was the Fuel Masters’ head coach back in 2016.

#ReadMore  Kai Sotto's maturity, addition of shooters to play huge role in Batang Gilas campaign

The seasoned bench tactician, moreover, was the one who discovered Lee when the South Korean national was in the Philippines working out with coach Kirk Coller back then.

“I know he’s got plenty of upside. Everyone was surprised when I signed him. But I am not. He’s not the typical Korean player. His skill set is different,” shared Vanguardia.

“I love coaching him.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

You May Also Like


San Miguel remained unbeaten in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup by adding to Phoenix’s woes, 116-102, Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. The...


ANTIPOLO – Adrian Nocum continued to display maturity beyond his years as he powered Rain or Shine past Phoenix, 100-85, to finally break through...


Phoenix sent Terrafirma skidding all of a sudden, 94-78, in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig....


Jamie Malonzo’s redemption tour continued on Sunday. Malonzo once again led Ginebra San Miguel, leading their 102-92 rout of Phoenix to remain unblemished in...


Northport exhibited poise beyond its youth, securing a 124-120 victory against Phoenix in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup on Friday at the SMART...


Another Filipino-Canadian guard is headed to the Korean Basketball League. Avan Nava, a 6-foot-2 guard out of Mississauga, Ontario, has signed with Seoul Samsung...


After five conferences, Blackwater has decided not to renew the contract of interim head coach Ariel Vanguardia. Bossing team owner Dioceldo Sy confirmed the...


ANTIPOLO — Calvin Abueva wrote history in helping Magnolia beat the also-ran Blackwater, 110-95, to make one last push for their Top Four aspirations...