PBA Philippine Cup

Lee rescues Magnolia from another collapse

Delfin Dioquino
Lee rescues Magnolia from another collapse

Paul Lee. Photo from PBA Images

Already learning the hard way, Paul Lee delivers for Magnolia in winning time as the Hotshots earn their fourth straight victory

Been there, done that.

Paul Lee prevented history from repeating itself as Magnolia avoided another massive meltdown in a scintillating 70-62 win over Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Reminiscent of its collapse to Phoenix – where it squandered a 17-point lead – earlier in the conference, Magnolia saw its 20-point advantage vanish against the win-hungry Rain or Shine.

But already learning the hard way, Lee came to the rescue for Magnolia, knocking down the crucial buckets down the stretch en route to 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.

As Rain or Shine shaved its deficit to just 4 points, 62-66, with less than two minutes left, Lee took matters into his own hands and put the game away with back-to-back fadeaway jumpers from the left baseline.

“I just composed myself. It was winning time,” Lee said in a mix of Filipino and English. “We refocused ourselves and went back to the basics.”

Lee has been a different beast since that loss to Phoenix, where he got limited to a conference-low 10 points.

The former Best Player of the Conference averaged 25.5 points over the last 4 games, which all ended in victories as Magnolia hiked its record to 5-4 after a poor 1-4 start.

“As I always say, the character team of this team is different. When we have our backs against the walls, that is when we step up,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero in Filipino.

“I’m happy with what I’m seeing in the team, especially our morale,” Victolero added. – Rappler.com

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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.