PBA: Clutch Paul Lee shows up on both ends to save Magnolia's title chances
Paul Lintag on Dec 14, 2018 10:34 PM
Paul Lee buried the game-winner for Magnolia in Game 5 of the Finals, giving the Hotshots a crucial 3-2 lead in the best-of-7.
Magnolia was on the brink of an epic Finals collapse.
The Hotshots have lost all of their 17-point lead in Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals and Romeo Travis' strong drive for a go-ahead layup was emphatically denied by Best Import Mike Harris.
Alaska's Kevin Racal has dived for the loose ball but somehow, someway, Paul Lee managed to snag the leather and dribble his way to an open baseline.
Lee, the newly-awarded PBA Best Player of the Conference, shot a mid-range jumper in rhythm.
He swished it and gave the Hotshots a 79-78 lead with 1.3 seconds to go. It was his only score in the second half as he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Magnolia would go on and win, taking a crucial 3-2 lead in the Finals.
"I took the chance eh, kasi wala na eh down kami. Yung small details na ganun, yung mga 50-50 ball, yun yung mga nagpapanalo ng laro. Nakuha and then na-convert ko, so it gave us a win," Lee said on his series-defining save.
"Struggle ako buong series offensively, pero yung coaching staff and the whole team, lagi nila sinasabi na next shot, next shot, papasok din yan. Tinira ko lang, luckily yung timing maganda siya. Sobrang bait talaga ni Lord alam mo yun? Sa kanila na eh, tapos ganun yung naging end nung game. Wala na akong hiling, napaka-gandang panalo nun," he added on his version of The Shot.
A couple of plays before, Lee had another brilliant save that helped set up Game 5's wild finish.
Down two, Lee managed to stop a 3-on-1 Alaska break before finding Ian Sangalang on the other end for a game-turning three-point play.
That play gave Magnolia a 77-76 lead with 18 seconds to go.
"I won't give up in any play, hanggang walang pito or di stop yung game. Yun naman tinuro samin from the start, hanggang di pumipito or walang deadball, tuluy-tuloy lang," Lee said.
"Ayun nag-end up sa magandang play pa ganun lang yung mentality namin," he added.
With Game 6 on the horizon, Lee knows it's going to be doubly hard and he wants the Hotshots to try and stay sharp.
A title is on the line after all.
"It's gonna be hard next game, yun yung pinaka mahirap na game. We need to prepare and of course wag namin kalimutan na mag-enjoy din sa laro," Lee said.
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