Banged up Lee endures pain to steer Magnolia back to playoff race

Delfin Dioquino
Banged up Lee endures pain to steer Magnolia back to playoff race
The Hotshots improve to 7th place in the team standings behind the shifty guard's work from beyond the arc


MANILA, Philippines – Not even a bum knee could prevent Paul Lee from propelling Magnolia back to the playoff hunt. 

Banged up and all, Lee caught fire for 6 triples en route to a game-high 24 points to power Magnolia to a 103-90 win over NorthPort in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, March 20.

With the win, the Hotshots improved to 7th place behind a 4-5 record. 

The shifty guard, though, almost did not finish the game as he hobbled back to the bench after hurting his right knee following a collision with Robert Bolick with 7:26 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. 

Lee grimaced in pain at the bench, but he ultimately returned with 2:45 minutes remaining in the 3rd and fueled Magnolia’s second-half turnaround by scoring 11 points in the final two quarters.

Lagi kami sinasabihan ni coach (Chito Victolero) na play through it. Tuloy lang namin, kapit lang kami sa isa’t isa,” Lee told reporters after the game. 

(We’re always reminded by coach to play through it, that we should always continue playing and hold on to each other.)

Halos lahat naman may nararamdaman na pero nakikita mo wala naman nagrereklamo. Pero good sign ‘yun na makikita namin sa isa’t isa na walang gumi-give up. Magandang motivation ‘yun sa amin.” 

(All of us have injuries but you won’t see anybody complaining. That’s a good sign that no one wants to give up. That’s a good motivation for us.) 

The Hotshots’ tight schedule may already be taking a toll on Lee’s body.

Before the win, the Hotshots came off an overtime loss to Barangay Ginebra last Sunday, March 17. Magnolia will then face Blackwater on Friday, March 20, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.  

It will be the Hotshots’ third game in 6 days, but Lee is not complaining. 

Kailangan mo lang talaga tiisin lahat. Wala ka na rin magagawa kasi ‘yun na schedule eh, ‘di ka naman pwede magreklamo doon,” he said 

(You just have to endure it. You really can’t do anything about the schedule and you can’t complain about it.)

Magagawa mo na lang is paghandaan mo lang kung ano ‘yung nasa harapan mo.  ‘Yun na lang isipin mo siguro.”

(What you can do is prepare for the next game. I guess that’s just how you should look at things.) –


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.