Magnolia endured a roller coaster ride in the elimination round of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
After losing its first 2 games, the Hotshots went on a five-game winning run capped by a 99-88 road win over the Meralco Bolts in Zamboanga City on June 29.
That victory, however, proved to the last in the initial phase of the mid-season spectacle as the team then went on a 4-game slide to settle for a 5-6 record, good for 5th place in the team standings.
The Hotshots actually finished in a triple tie with Rain or Shine and San Miguel but ended up with the best quotient thanks to its 36-point romp over the Beermen on June 26.
While entering the playoffs with a 4-game losing streak is far from the ideal scenario, Magnolia star Paul Lee would rather put everything behind and redirect his focus on the upcoming series with Manila Clasico rival Brgy. Ginebra.
“Kung ako, I’m not going to look back sa apat na straight na talo namin. Quarterfinals na ito. Different ball game, different scenario. Kumbaga, wala na yung 5-6 record dito eh,” said the 30-year old native of Tondo, Manila.
“Ako kasi, kapag natapos na itong eliminations, lahat ng nangyari, binubura ko na yun. This is another chapter for us na mag-focus nang mas maayos, mag-focus kami sa quarterfinals,” added Lee.
While history is on the side of Hotshots after having won their last two playoff matches with the Gin Kings, Lee believes there’s no room for complacency since they will be facing an entirely different Brgy. Ginebra team this time around.
“I think tumama lang yung game plan namin last conference. But this conference, different scenario, they got (Justin) Brownlee, they got Stanley (Pringle), so nandoon yung may piyesa sila para manalo every game.”
“Kaya kailangan paghandaan namin. Bilog naman yung bola, sana maganda lang yung game plan namin and maniwala kami na kaya naming manalo.”