By JONAS TERRADO
The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok’s chances of ending the San Miguel Beermen’s three-year reign and win the PBA Philippine Cup crown could improve should Paul Lee regain his lethal form.
Lee averaged just 8.5 points on 7-of-26 shooting after two games of the Finals, though the seven-year veteran is far less worried about his individual statistics as long as the Hotshots can get themselves closer to lifting the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy.
“I’m not forcing things na alam mo yun, basta makascore lang ako pero end of the game matatalo naman tayo,” Lee said after Magnolia’s 105-103 win in Game 1 where he scored only four points on 2-of-13 from the field.
“Concentrate lang ako kung saan ako makakatulong talaga kasi pag nanalo naman kami lahat kami masaya, diba? Kesa naman yung marami kang ginawa pero talo, so walang kwenta rin. Pag nanalo naman kayo ng championship lahat kayo masaya. So yun naman yung ultimate goal namin,” he added.
Almost forgotten in his shooting woes in the series opener was Lee’s bank shot that tied the count with over three minutes left after the Hotshots fell behind by 20 points in the third quarter.
Magnolia lost 92-77 in Game 2 Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena, with Lee posting 13 points on 5-of-13 shots.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is set on Easter Sunday at the Big Dome, which could be a perfect time for Lee to make a resurrection.
Lee is currently in his seventh finals appearance, the previous six came when he was still with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. He was named Finals MVP when Rain or Shine captured the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup crown, beating Alaska in six games.