For the second straight conference, Paul Lee and the rest of the Magnolia Hotshots have prevented Manila Clasico rival Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel from advancing into the next round.
Just last Wednesday, April 10, Lee scattered 25 points spiked by 5 triples to lead the Hotshots to a 2-1 series victory over the Gin Kings and arrange a semis duel with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
The 30-year old Tondo native, who already had 22 markers by the end of the 3rd period, capped his scintillating performance by nailing a triple just when Brgy. Ginebra had stormed back from a 22-point deficit to just 9 with less than 3 minutes left on the game clock.
That dagger three from Lee stymied the momentum of the Gin Kings and preserved the win for the Hotshots who are looking to barge into the Finals of the Philippine Cup for the second straight year.
“Siyempre, happy. Pero hindi naman natin alam kung mananalo ulit kami, kung makakatapat namin sila. So everytime na makakatapat namin yung Ginebra sa ganyan, hindi ka nakakasiguro na kaya mo sila ulit talunin ng ganun,” said Lee after the game.
The Hotshots, who started the conference with a 0-3 record, are peaking at the right time and Lee said it is a testament to the team’s character.
“Pinakita ng team yung character, kung anong merong character yung team na ito. Nagtulong-tulong lang kami. Napag-usapan namin na yung kailangan lang namin is yung chance, and nabigyan kami ng chance nung elimination,” explained the 6-foot combo guard.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven series between the Hotshots and the Elasto Painters is on Friday, April 12, 7:00pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.