In a time badly needed, the Lethal Weapon came through.
With the Magnolia Hotshots pressed to end their three-game slide, Paul Lee played his best game yet in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup, firing 25 points to steer his team to a 111-89 over the TNT Katropa, Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old exploded for 17 points in the third quarter, and his teammates seemingly got his rhythm as they sprinted away in the fourth quarter through a 20-3 blitz to establish a 99-76 lead, which they never gave up.
“Maybe it’s my night tonight,” said the combo guard moments after the match. “I just kept aggressive. I tried to go the free throw line para easy two points. Everyone played well.
“We committed sa game plan ni coach Chito (Victolero).”
The victory is Magnolia’s first with new import Justin Jackson. The 6-foot-9 forward/center, now in his second game, displayed all-around smarts by producing 18 points, 19 rebounds, and seven assists with two blocks.
For Lee, he believes that they have now settled into playing with Jackson, and that led to the skid-ending win.
“Feeling ko, na-relax na yung bawat isa sa amin. Mahirap din talaga, ayaw naman natin gawing excuses yung import, pero mahirap naman talaga yun. Galing kami kay Vernon, tapos kay Curtis Kelly tapos ito ngayon si Justin Jackson naman.
“Kailangan talaga ng enough time para makilala namin yung isa’t isa. Malaking bagay yung chemistry dito,” said Lee.
Magnolia have scored a huge win by defeating the Katropa, the erstwhile second-best team in the conference. And for the seven-year pro, he hopes that it will be of great help as they go up against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel this Sunday.
“Hopefully malaking tulong to going to the game on Sunday,” Lee hopes. “Yung kumpyansa namin umangat, pero kailangan yung sense of urgency namin andun pa rin kasi Ginebra lumalaban din para makapasok sila sa top eight.
“Kailangan manalo talaga. For sure they’ll come out hard. Just be ready lang.”