Paul Lee was a man on a mission on Monday night, redeeming himself from his eight-point outing back in the 2018 Philippine Cup semis opener by unloading 27 points to help the Magnolia Hotshots get even with the NLEX Road Warriors, 99-84, in Game Two.
The seven-year pro found motivation from an unlikely source — Road Warriors’ head coach Yeng Guiao, who had served as his mentor during his first five years in the league, when they spent time together with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
“Sa tagal ng pinagsamahan namin, inisip ko kung siya pa rin yung pinaglalaruan kong coach, for sure di rin siya magiging happy sa performance ko,” said Lee.
“So, yun lang, ginamit ko lang na motivation yun going into this game.”
When told about this, Guiao — who won two championships with Lee — was immensely proud that Lee still sees him as a mentor.
“Hindi ko alam, mumurahin ko lang naman siya kung ganoon kasama,” quipped Guiao. “But I expected that. [I know] He can come back.
“So maghahanap kami ulit ng paraan para pahirapan siya sa susunod.”
Lee’s offensive output coming off a bad game seemingly showed that he has finally solved Guiao’s schemes for him. But the 29-year-old insisted that he has yet to find answers to those, that one game doesn’t prove anything.
“Actually ‘di pa naman na-solve kasi ‘di pa naman tapos yung series. Na-tie pa lang namin sa 1-1,” said the six-foot guard.
Lee and the Hotshots are now setting their sights for Game Three this Wednesday, March 14. And they will be extra motivated to play harder next game, especially now that veterans Marc Pingris and Justin Melton are both hurt.
“Mindset pa rin namin is kailangan magpakatagtag pa din kami kasi injured si Kuya Ping, out na talaga, si Justin day-to-day pa din.”