PBA: Paul Lee looks forward to All-Filipino Cup after stinging loss in Finals

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Magnolia Hotshots’ Paul Lee (left) in Game 6 of the PBA Finals against San Miguel Beermen. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—After a heartbreaking loss–and on Valentine’s Day, no less—Magnolia’s Paul Lee is looking ahead.

While the pain was still fresh after the Hotshots’ 104-102 loss to San Miguel in Game 6 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Lee chose to keep his focus forward and anticipate the upcoming PBA All-Filipino Conference which starts later in the month.

“I think we have a pretty good chance in All-Filipino but we have a lot to fix as a team. We need to be solid from start to finish. That’s what coach Chito (Victolero) always says,” said the guard in Filipino at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

Lee registered 25 points, three rebounds and three assists in what turned out to be the last game of the Hotshots for the import-laden conference.

As if losing on the day of hearts was tragic in itself, Wednesday was also Lee’s birthday which is why he exited the dugout a bit more somber than expected.

But the sharp shooter said there are things to be thankful for despite falling short in the sixth game of the best-of-seven championship series.

“[This is] probably the saddest birthday. But there are still lots of things to be thankful for. For one, the game ended without anyone getting injured. I finished the series that everyone was doubting I’d finish because I always get injured. Those are the things that I can be thankful for.”

Lee also credited San Miguel for their tremendous fightback over the top-seeded Magnolia squad.

After leading by as much as 13 points, the Hotshots fell victim to the Beermen’s top guy CJ Perez, who finished with 28 points and the Finals MVP plum.

“We lost our focus. I think that’s where we can say that we got dominated by San Miguel in the end. Of course, the experience was there for a lot of players,” said Lee. “Credit to San Miguel, they really wanted tonight. [We’ll] move on, tomorrow is another day.”



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Lee is expected to lead the Hotshots anew for the Philippine Cup after posting norms of 11.1 points, 3.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game this conference.





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