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Paul Lee on how hard it is to stay in the zone: ‘Hindi naman siya parang instant coffee’

PASSI CITY – Paul Lee insisted that it’s never easy maintaining that certain touch from long range despite doing so effortlessly almost every given night.

Known for taking — and making — shots from way beyond the arc, the Magnolia star was in his element anew that ultimately led to a fruitful campaign in the recently-concluded 2023 PBA All-Star Weekend here.

“Hindi siya madali,” he said. “Kapag three to four days na hindi ko siya ginawa … parang nagba-back to zero siya. Kung may time talaga everyday, madaanan ko siya lagi, para ‘yung rhythm pati ‘yung muscle memory nandoon pa rin.

“Kailangan bigyan mo siya ng time. Hindi naman siya parang instant coffee na bukas magagawa mo siya. Kailangan yung rhythm talaga everyday, makuha mo siya. Mas maraming itira, mas okay,” he added.

Two days after conquering the 3-Point Shootout, the ‘Lethal Weapon’ would earn All-Star Game MVP honors after dropping 32 points, seven rebounds, and six assists to help Team Japeth beat Team Scottie, 140-136.

Lee went for an impressive 7-of-13 from the four-point line on the way to the plum, which also came with a P30,000 prize money.

The Tondo native said that winning the 3-point contest, which saw him drop 28 in the finale, boosted his confidence heading into the All-Star Game as the shootout also featured two shots from the 27-foot area.

“May factor din na nanalo ako ng 3-Point Shootout noong nakaraan, Siguro may dagdag kumpiyansa din, lalo na nakaka-shoot ako sa malayo na part,” he said.

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“Nagkaroon ako ng idea kung para saan ;yung linya na ‘yun. Kaya siguro mas napaghandaan ko siya,” added Lee, who’s been shooting 42.2-percent in the current Governors’ Cup, including a 38.7-percent clip from deep.

It helped, too, that none other than Team Japeth head coach Tim Cone gave the squad the green light to shoot those four-pointers.

2023-PBA-All-Star-Paul-Lee Paul Lee on how hard it is to stay in the zone: 'Hindi naman siya parang instant coffee' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

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“Before we started yesterday’s practice, sabi nga niya na take advantage yung situation na yun na may four-point. Yung may kaya gawin daw, okay lang naman daw yun as long as good shots naman and galing sa play,” he said.

Lee, though, didn’t take all the credit for himself that led to the remarkable showing, thanking his Team Japeth for helping him succeed.

“Bago mag-start, pina-practice ko rin siya. Thankful tayo sa mga teammates natin kasi sila yung naging way kung bakit nakarating sakin yung bola, bakit nalibre ako. So credit din talaga sa kanila,” he said.

Lee, all in all, is just happy that the rest of the All-Stars were able to give a good showing for the appreciative Passinhon crowd.

“Sobrang sarap sa feeling kasi nabigyan natin ng magandang game yung fans dito sa Passi, Iloilo. Syempre nakita naman natin yung nakaraang All-Star sa NBA, hindi rin magandang tignan, maraming hindi magandang comments,” he said.

“Ni-remind kami ni coach Tim doon about sa nangyari sa All-Star sa NBA. Ayun, nag-respond naman yung team at nag-decide yung team na talagang mag-all out kami ngayon. We treated it like a real game.”

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