Hotshots tie semis series as Paul Lee sinks game-winner

Paul Lee capped his brilliant performance with a game-winning short stab just in the nick of time to give Magnolia a 96-95 victory over Brgy. Ginebra in Game 2 of their best-of-five semifinal series in the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

After Stanley Pringle drained a clutch triple to give the Gin Kings a 1-point edge, 95-94, with just 5.1 ticks left on the game clock, Lee received the inbound pass from Calvin Abueva and almost turned the ball over. The Best Player of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup, however, recovered the leather just in time and banked in an easy deuce as the Hotshots leveled the series at 1-game apiece heading into pivotal Game 3.

Lee finished with a team-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting with 5-of-8 coming from the 3-point area. He also had 2 rebounds and 4 assists in 29 minutes of play.

“Medyo tulala lang ako. I know it’s the play for Paul, but buti bumagsak sa kanya uli ‘yung bola,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game presser.

“It was God’s will. It was God’s hands. I know Paul is our lethal weapon also, but with the help of our Lord, I think binigay Niya sa’min ‘yon. And deserve naman ng mga bata kasi we work hard, we prepare hard,” he added.

Nick Rakocevic bounced back from a Game 2 ejection due to unsportsmanlike conduct by posting a huge double-double of 23 points and 20 boards to go with 2 assists, a steal and 3 blocks. Jio Jalalon added 15 points, 3 boards and 5 dimes while Abueva and Mark Barroca chipped in 10 and 8 markers, respectively.

Justin Brownlee paced the Gin Kings with 34 points on 13-of-20 shooting in addition to 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson contributed 17 and 12 points, respectively.

The two sides dispute the series lead when they clash anew on Sunday, December 18, 6:45pm at the same venue.

The scores:

Magnolia 96 – Lee 24, Rakocevic 23, Jalalon 15, Abueva 10, Barroca 8, Sangalang 6, Ahanmisi 5, Dionisio 3, Dela Rosa 2, Corpuz 0, Wong 0.

Ginebra 95 – Brownlee 34, Pringle 17, Thompson 12, Tenorio 8, Malonzo 7, J.Aguilar 6, Standhardinger 6, Mariano 5, Pessumal 0, Gray 0.

Quarterscores: 27-32, 51-50, 73-78, 96-95.

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