Magnolia celebrated the return of Paul Lee with a lopsided 104-83 win over Terrafirma, Friday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Hotshots started out with guns ablaze and established a 14-point edge after one. They continued to pound their hapless opponents for three more quarters with the lead reaching as high as 38 on the way to their 4th consecutive victory and 5th overall in 8 outings. The Dyip, meanwhile, remained winless in 8 starts.
The 33-year old Lee, who returned to active duty after missing 5 of the team’s last 6 games due to back spasm and a hurting calf, fired 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting with 5-of-9 coming from 3-point country. The 2018 Governors’ Cup Best Player of the Conference also had 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 17 minutes of action.
“We’re very happy whether it’s a one-point or 20-point win. Panalo pa rin yan. We’re happy kasi ang ganda nung nilaro namin,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game press conference.
“Na-execute namin yung game plan. Halos lahat nag-contribute at halos lahat nag-step up,” he added.
Lee, for his part, admitted he’s still in pain but the timing is just right as the team’s next match is still a week away.
“It’s a little bit sore now, but it’s normal na makaramdam ng ganoon. Inaakyat ko palang yung kundisyon ko. Maganda ito para sa akin, and then meron pa akong another week going into the next game,”
Ian Sangalang paced the Hotshots with 20 points while Jio Jalalon and James Laput added 17 and 10 markers, respectively.