PAUL Lee delivered the lethal blows as Magnolia outgunned San Miguel Beer, 100-90, to grip tighter on third spot - with a chance for No. 2 - in the 46th PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Lee sizzled with 32 big points, making 18 of them in the fourth quarter as the Hotshots took the fight out of the Beermen with a 34-25 exchange.
Lee and Co. thus finished the elimination with an 8-3 win-loss card and made it a two-way fight with idle Meralco (7-2) for the second seed and twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
The Bolts, however, must lose their last two assignments in order for Magnolia to get the higher seeding.
"Pinag-usapan namin, itong game na ito is in our hands, kumbaga kontrolado namin. But the games of other teams are out of our control," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
"Now we just wait. Nagawa na namin trabaho namin, nagawa kung anong pwede naming gawin. Kung destiny namin at talagang iibbigay sa amin ni Lord yung No. 2, so be it. Kung hindi naman kami palarin, we had a very good game (against SMB) na madadala namin sa playoffs," he added.
Magnolia and SMB were engaged in a 75-75 standoff before Lee went on his scoring rampage and put the Hotshots comfortably ahead, 95-83.
It was the fifth career 30-point game for the "Lethal Weapon" who is gradually getting back his old deadly form coming back from a minor hamstring injury back in the league's closed circuit games in Manila.
"Personal goal ko is mabalik yung tamang condition ko. Since nung na-injured ako, parang roller-coaster ang laro ko, may araw na sobrang bigat ng pakiramdam ko. Pero kumapit lang ako, continue to work hard para mabalik kundisyon ko," said Lee.
Ian Sangalang complemented Lee's hot outing with 15-11.
CJ Perez (20) and Arwind Santos (18) showed the way for SMB, which played without Terrence Romeo (foot injury). (OL)
Magnolia 100 - Lee 32, Sangalang 15, Ahanmisi 11, Barroca 9, Abueva 8, Dionisio 8, Pascual 7, Corpuz 4, Reavis 4, Jalalon 2, Brill 0, De Leon 0, Dela Rosa 0.
San Miguel 90 - Perez 20, Santos 18, Pessumal 13, Lassiter 13, Zamar 9, Fajardo 8, Tautuaa 5, Ross 4, Gotladera 0, Comboy 0, Gamalinda 0, Sena 0.
Quarterscores: 25-14, 47-39, 66-65, 100-90.