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Lee begs off from Gilas

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Paul Lee would have been an asset for Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin, but because of a knee injury to the versatile guard, the American mentor said it’s unfortunate the national team will be missing a high caliber player in this year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Lee was present in yesterday’s resumption of the national team training pool practice session, but only to inform Baldwin of his situation – that a partial tear on both the lateral meniscus and ITB (Iliotibial Band) tendons causes unwarranted fluid.

“Paul is out and that’s a tragedy for Paul,” Baldwin said.

“You know he’s had so many problems with his knees, and he’s had so many problems with his body. You know, we said a special prayer for him that he can get those things right.”

“We all saw what he’s capable of doing in the Finals,” added Baldwin, referring to Lee’s remarkable performance in helping Rain or Shine win the Commissioner’s Cup title against Alaska – even with an injured knee – that saw him pick up the PBA Press Corps Finals MVP plum.

The Bulletin-Tempo reported the other day Lee’s injury problem – hinting on skipping the OQT scheduled July 5-10 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City with Gilas playing France and New Zealand in Group B while in Group A are Turkey, Canada and Senegal.

The 6-foot-1 Lee is the third player in the training pool to beg off due to injury following the decisions of Greg Slaughter (ankle) and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser (knee) to discontinue their respective participations.

The 7-foot Slaughter is scheduled to have surgery to remove bone spurs on his ankle, while the 6-5 Ganuelas-Rosser had a surgery to repair an injured knee a few weeks ago.

As for Lee, he is scheduled to have a third Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP procedure next week, which will sideline him for about six weeks to recover and rehabilitation program – totally shutting him down for another Gilas stint.
“Ngayon, out ako sa buong ito, mag-skip talaga ako ng buong Gilas,” said Lee.

“Sinabi niya na rin sa buong team para kahit papaano, alam na rin ng buong team, and makapag-prepare na ng maayos. Syempre malungkot para sakin lalo na gagawin sa atin yung laro.”