It appears Paul Lee still has the hot hand.
After setting a new PBA All-Star Game record by draining nine threes last Sunday, the 30-year-old guard sank six more triples in Magnolia’s playoff-clinching win against NLEX on Wednesday.
Lee finished with 26 points and went 9-for-16 from the field in just 23 minutes.
“Akala ko may wheelchair pa rin eh,” Lee joked in reference to the number of wheelchairs donated to the Alagang PBA Foundation by Double V Production, who pledged to donate a set amount for every trey and dunk made in the All-Star Game.
“Sana magtuluy-tuloy yung ganung shooting ko, kasi this conference medyo hindi rin consistent yung laro ko sa labas.”
It’s not just Lee who’s peaking at the right time. This win against NLEX gave Magnolia a 6-5 finish in the eliminations, a far cry from when they struggled out of the gates with a 0-3 start to the Philippine Cup.
“At least nakabawi kami sa bad start namin. Maganda naman yung after nung three games namin sa simula, yung break naka-tulong sa’min. Napa-ganda lang din yung schedule namin na sunud-sunod, nakuha namin yung timing namin. Medyo mahirap, pero alam mo yun, naka-tulong din samin,” Lee noted.
The key for Magnolia now will be sustaining momentum. That will be made tougher with an impending matchup against Ginebra, which is looking for redemption after the Hotshots gave them the boot in the 2018 Governors’ Cup semifinals.
To overcome that challenge, the task is pretty simple for Lee: win Game 1 of that three-game series.
“Medyo napa-aga [Manila Clasico]. Crucial ‘yung Game 1, ‘yun ‘yung sinasabi sa’min ni coach Chito (Victolero). Parang Game 7 na kasi kung sino talaga maka-una, ‘yun na mataas ang chance manalo sa series,” he said.
“Sobrang importante samin yun [best-of-3] kasi ayaw naman namin ma-eliminate ng maaga.”