The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters started their PBA Season 37 campaign on a right foot as they defeat the most famous team in the PBA, the Ginebra Gin Kings. They won by a whisker, 94-93.
Paul Lee, who is now known as the "LEE-thal weapon" was hailed as the best player of the game as he had a terrific first game in the PBA. He has proven time and time again that he is not just good on paper, he's also good in the actual game. Lee had a great debut game as a rookie as he had 21 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.
Lee showed that he can score at will, he can issue well timed passes, and he can grab rebounds against bigger guys. He acted like a battle ready veteran on the court despite being just 22 years old. He is definitely a blue chip rookie and he definitely proved that he deserves to have a maximum salary deal with Rain or Shine. He is set to received a monthly salary worth 350,000 pesos. Wow!
And also, with this great performance of Paul Lee, he was able to eclipse the first ever game output of Mark Caguioa in his rookie year. And I believe that, that will be used by his supporters to back-up their claims that Lee is the next Mark Caguioa.
Yes, I think that he can be like Mark, but let's not take away the possibility that he can also be a better player than Caguioa if he will continue to work hard on his craft.
Just think about this, being a quick player is already impressive, but when a player already knows how to control his speed-knows when to accelerate or when to slow down, just like what Paul Lee showed in this game, that's definitely amazing!
Paul Lee will definitely be the barometer of Rain or Shine. If he plays well like this in their next games, they will definitely have a better chance to be in the Finals this conference.
Of course we should not belittle Ginebra after they succumbed to this loss against Rain or Shine. This is just their first meeting of the season. For sure Mark and Jay Jay will make up for their poor showing today against the Elasto Painters. Their next meeting will definitely be something to watch out for.
Here are the scores courtesy of PBA.ph:
Rain or Shine 94 - Lee 21, Chan 18, Norwood 11, Buenafe 10, Cruz 8, Quinahan 7, Matias 6, Belga 4, Rodriguez 4, Ibanes 4, Arana 1.
Ginebra 93 - Intal 16, Caguioa 16, Helterbrand 11, Tubid 8, Cortez 8, Wilson J. 6, Canaleta 6, Villanueva 6, Labagala 5, Mamaril 5, Wilson W. 4, De Ocampo 2, Cervantes 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 44-37, 77-62, 94-93