Paul Lee took charge late as Magnolia took down Barangay Ginebra in this season’s Manila Clasico, 89-79, and earned a share of the lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night, July 25 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Lee fired 22 points, including the dagger baskets to keep the Kings at bay and eventually lift the Hotshots to the top together with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on a similar 3-0 slate.
The seasoned guard from Tondo came to Magnolia’s rescue after Ginebra trimmed the latter’s 65-49 lead in the third quarter down to 77-79 behind Stanley Pringle with 3:36 left in the game.
Lee poured six points in an 8-2 spurt to push the Hotshots for good, 87-79, with 1:09 remaining.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero pointed out their solid defensive scheme which powered their third period outburst.
“We have a goal and we achieved that goal in our defense. We also had a good start in the third quarter,” said Victolero, whose Hotshots limited the Kings to 14 points while scoring 21 of their own in the third frame.
Ian Sangalang tallied 17 points while Calvin Abueva added 15 markers on top of nine rebounds and Mark Barroca also chipped in 15 points in the win.
Pringle led the defending all-Filipino champions with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Christian Standhardinger had 13 points and 11 boards even as Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio also had 13 markers each for the Kings, who slid to 1-2.
MAGNOLIA 89 – Lee 22, Sangalang 17, Abueva 15, Barroca 15, Corpuz 9, Jalalon 5, , Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 2, Dionisio 0, Pascual 0, Ahanmisi 0
GINEBRA 79 – Pringle 22, Tenorio 13, Standhardinger 13, Thompson 13, J. Aguilar 9, Chan 9, Caperal 0, Dillinger 0, Ayaay 0, Devance 0
Quarters: 22-22, 46-42, 67-56, 89-79