Rain or Shine's Paul Lee (3) dribbles against San Mig Coffee's Mark Barroca (14). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Just one day after his team, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, lost in the PBA Philippine Cup, Paul Lee received the call that he has been included in the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the FIBA World Cup.
“Natalo kami, so s’yempre malungkot ako, kasi s’yempre ‘yun na ‘yung best chance namin para manalo ng championship, pero hindi namin nakuha,” said Lee, whose E-Painters lost to San Mig in six games.
“And then, after one day, naka-receive ako ng call kay Coach Aboy Castro. ‘Yung news niya sa akin na natanggap ako, nakuha ako sa pool,” he added. “Masayang-masaya ako na makasama sa team na ito.”
Lee, Marcio Lassiter, Jared Dillinger and Greg Slaughter were added by national team head coach Chot Reyes to the Gilas pool that included the members of the team that placed second in the FIBA Asia Championships in August 2013.
Explaining his choices, Reyes said: “We needed size in the back court, and all the guards, they’re all big guards. Paul, Marcio and Jared are all big guards, and Slaughter is just big, plain and simple.”
Lee, a former stalwart for University of the East, said he is ready to do whatever Reyes asks him to do in the squad.
“Sa akin naman, kahit sino ‘yung ipabantay ni Coach Chot, kung sino ‘yung sasabihin nila na itapat sa akin, tatrabahuhin ko lang,” he said.
“Hindi ka naman pwede mamili eh. Lahat ‘yung magagaling kasi nasa world ka na. So wala kang pagpipilian doon,” he added. “Kailangan talaga, trabahuhin mo lang kung ano ipapagawa nila sa ’yo.”
Gilas Pilipinas held its first practice Monday evening at ULTRA. They will compete in the FIBA World Cup in Spain from August 31 to September 14.