In a conference marked by the team’s defensive and offensive inconsistencies, Paul Lee has provided a ray of hope for Rain or Shine with his consistent plays that enabled the Elasto Painters to climb onto the top 6 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
The 6-0 Lee stepped up big in the team’s two crucial games last week that allowed Rain or Shine to end the eliminations on a high note.
The 2012 PBA Rookie of the Year pumped in key baskets down the stretch, saving Rain or Shine from a near endgame collapse to score a huge 87-82 victory against Air21 on April 14. Lee finished with 12 points, one of only two players to score in double figures.
Then on Easter Sunday, the “Lee-thal Weapon” elevated his game further when he joined import Wayne Chism in sparking Rain or Shine’s searing second half offensive to turn back Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 105-101, in overtime and clinch the no. 4 seed in the playoffs.
Lee’s sterling back-to-back performances earned him his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period of April 14-20, beating out San Miguel forward Arwind Santos and Meralco Fil-Am Jared Dillinger.
The victory sent Rain or Shine to a best-of-three quarterfinal duel on Monday against Meralco and avoided dropping into a twice-to-beat disadvantage against no. 2 seed San Miguel Beer.
Lee said they have approached their last two games on a serious note, considering that one wrong move could lead to serious repercussions.
“Sanay na, bago dumating itong laro na ito (against Ginebra), sinabi na ni coach Yeng kung manalo tayo sa Sunday, may laro na agad ng Monday and we need to practice sa (Monday) morning,” said Lee, whose team will only have 22 hours to prepare before facing the Bolts in Game 1 of their quarterfinal series. (RD)
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