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Star’s ace playmaker Paul Lee has been replaced by teammate Allein Maliksi yesterday in the Gilas Pilipinas national team training pool due to a meniscal tear on a troublesome left knee.
The decision to replace Lee came on the first day of Gilas training camp in Tagaytay City under coach Chot Reyes as Star management sent Maliksi upon the request of the national team.
“They need a shooter, they asked for Allein Maliksi as replacement for Paul Lee,” said Star Governor Rene Pardo as Maliksi joined rookie teammate Jio Jalalon on the pool.
Reyes began the three-day camp composed of 24 aspirants – 12 from the Cadet and 12 regular PBA players.
Lee, who suited up for Gilas in 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, has been selected by Reyes to the original 12 PBA players.
However, after Star’s grueling seven-game semifinal series with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, management opted to let Lee rest so as not to aggravate the injury.
“Magsasabay kasi ang training ng Star and the national team na mag-start na ng every Monday,” said Pardo. “‘Yung injury ni Paul, ’yun na ’yung dati nya, pero now hindi naman kailangan ng surgery.”
“Makakalaro pa din naman siya sa second conference, alalay lang ng mga PT (Physical Therapists) namin. Hindi naman kailangan na agad-agad ’yung surgery kasi hindi sya putol (ligament), may punet (tear) lang.”
“Kung magkakaroon ng time for him to have a surgery, kung titigil ang PBA for SEABA (Southeast Asian Basketball Assocaition) Championship here, or kung after the season, six weeks siya magpapahinga,” added Pardo.