Apr 16, 2018

Paul Lee believes loss to San Miguel in Finals will make Magnolia a better team

LIKE San Miguel before, Paul Lee believes Magnolia Pambansang Manok just have to trust the process.

Despite losing to the Beermen in the PBA Philippine Cup finals, Lee says the experience will only make the Hotshots a better team, like what San Miguel went through in the past before finally realizing the success the franchise currently enjoys.

"Lahat naman dumadaan sa mga masakit na experience. Maski ang SMB dumaan sa ganito noong bago sila naging champion," said the Magnolia guard. "So kami yun din ang nasa isip namin."

The Beermen did go through some major humps that saw the team changed coaches and tweaked its roster until finally putting together the right pieces which formed the nucleus of its championship unit.

Until it won the 2015 Philippine Cup title, San Miguel actually hadn't won a crown since the 2011 Governors Cup.
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But after that, the Beermen had been on a roll, claiming six of the last 10 conferences championships, including a historic four straight all-Filipino crown.

Lee sees San Miguel as a perfect model for Magnolia.

"Sabi nga ni coach Chito (Victolero), kailangan naming dumaan, as a team, sa ganung klaseng experience. Mas magiging buo yung samahan ng team, ng mga players kung sama-sama kami," said the 29-year-old guard from Tondo.

In essence, the Hotshots did overachieve last conference as they finally got past the semi-finals phase after thrice making the Final Four of all three conferences during the league's 42nd season.

The finals stint was also the very first for the franchise since its grand slam season in 2014.
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"Very proud ako ano man yung naabot namin ngayon," said the University of the East alum, who won two championships and saw action in six Finals appearances during his stint with Rain or Shine.
"Balang araw lahat ng hardwork namin, magbubunga rin yan."

Lee is currently taking advantage of the conference break by traveling for a quick respite in Japan with wife Rubie before the Hotshots begin their training camp this Friday in preparation for the mid-season Commissioner's Cup where the team will parade Vernon Macklin as its import.

Magnolia won't play its first game until the first week of May. (RG)