PBA Philippine Cup

Paul Lee hopes to erase pain of PH Cup finals heartbreaks in title showdown vs TNT

Delfin Dioquino
Paul Lee hopes to erase pain of PH Cup finals heartbreaks in title showdown vs TNT

BACK AT IT. Paul Lee and Magnolia reach the Philippine Cup finals for the third time in the last four years.

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Paul Lee has a chance to complete the trifecta of PBA titles as Magnolia tangles with TNT in the best-of-seven Philippine Cup finals

Paul Lee is no stranger to winning PBA championships.

He clinched the 2012 Governors’ Cup and 2016 Commissioner’s Cup titles when he still played for Rain or Shine and bagged the 2018 Governors’ Cup crown as a member of Magnolia.

But one precious hardware continues to elude his collection: the Philippine Cup, which is arguably the most prestigious of all PBA championships.

Lee has a chance to complete the trifecta of PBA titles as Magnolia reached the all-Filipino finals for the third time in the last four years and set up a best-of-seven duel against TNT starting on Wednesday, October 20.

“This is really special for me because it’s another chance to win my first all-Filipino championship,” Lee said on Tuesday, October 19.

“It’s already my 10th year in the PBA, but until now, I still haven’t won the all-Filipino,” added the veteran guard.

For Lee, ruling the Philippine Cup this season would help ease the pain of their finals heartbreaks in the past.

Magnolia reached the all-Filipino finals in 2018 and 2019 but fell short of the title in both editions to San Miguel, which made history as the only team in PBA history to win the Philippine Cup for five straight years.

That almost did not happen as Magnolia enjoyed a 17-point lead in the do-or-die Game 7 of the 2019 finals.

San Miguel, however, stormed back en route to a one-point victory.

“Until now it’s still painful because that was the closest we got,” Lee said. “We were one basket away from winning the all-Filipino championship.”

The circumstances have changed this season.

Aside from having a different finals foe, Magnolia now has Calvin Abueva, who emerged as the frontrunner for the Best Player of the Conference plum in just his first stint with the franchise.

“With the help of Calvin, we probably have a higher chance to get this championship. Calvin makes a big difference. He compensates for a lot of our shortcomings as a team,” Lee said.

“We have to take advantage of that opportunity so we won’t feel that kind of pain again.” – Rappler.com

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.