April 17, 2019

Paul Lee says Game 3 win, long break a breather for Hotshots

PAUL Lee considers Magnolia's Game Three victory over Rain or Shine Tuesday night as a big breather going into the Holy Week break of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

Lee said the 85-74 win eases the Hotshots' concern as they rest and recuperate during the four-day lull from Holy Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

The come-from-behind victory prevented the team from going down 0-3 in the best-of-seven series.

"Medyo mahirap kung natalo kami tapos magbe-break," he said. "Although makakapag-pahinga kami, hindi pa rin mawawala sa isip namin na 0-3 kami.

"At least ito yung momentum naming nanalo kami andiyan na." added the Magnolia ace guard. "So malaking factor talaga itong break na nakuha namin."

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Lee is averaging 14.6 points in the three games played so far in the series, including a team-high 16 on Tuesday night when the Hotshots finally broke through the win column.

It's no secret Lee has been playing through pain the entire playoffs, both his knees being wrapped in ice after every game.

"Kaya yun ang pinag-usapan namin na makuha lang namin itong Game Three and then makapag-pahinga, we'll be okay," said the 30-year-old guard.

"So makapag-pahinga kami, makapag-pahinga yung legs namin."

Lee admitted the playoffs grind has been taking its toll on the health of the Hotshots, especially after being forced to a do-or-die game by Barangay Ginebra in their best-of-three quarterfinals series.

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"Kung pagsasamahin mo yung three games dito (semis), tsaka yung three games nung sa Ginebra parang naka isang series na kami," he pointed out.

"Mabigat pero ito yung binigay sa amin so kailangan harapin namin talaga."

Coach Chito Victolero has given the team a two-day off Wednesday and Thursday before coming back to practice on Good Friday onwards.

The Hotshots resume their semis series against the Elasto Painters on Monday for Game Four at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.