Paul Lee shouldered the blame for the Magnolia Hotshots’ disappointing meltdown to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Game Three of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots were on pace to sweep the Gin Kings in the race-to-three series after leading by as much as 18 points in the second frame, only to allow the Gin Kings to race back in the second half to wipe out the highly-built wall.
Lee himself had the opportunity to save Magnolia and play the villain’s role yet again for Ginebra, but a crucial error – an overcooked pass that sailed outside – and a missed triple with eight seconds left threw all their hopes out the window.
“I just took my chance, alam mo yun? So ayun, I missed it. Yung talo sa’kin yun,” said Lee after their 103-107 loss.
The gunslinging guard also rued missing the chance to step up and fulfill his role as one of the team’s leaders in a time needed, when Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero was ejected for apparently throwing the ball at a referee.
Victolero was kicked out with 5:08 left in the final frame.
“Siguro responsibility ko rin yung especially nung na-thrown out si coach Chito. Isa ako sa dapat na tumayo dun kasi kahit papano beterano na rin tayo,” said the seven-year pro.
“Yun, I think sa akin yung talo na yun.”
But as much as Wednesday night was disappointing, as they failed to sweep their way to their second Finals appearance this season, Lee and the Hotshots refuse to dwell on the loss, and instead will focus on Game Four.
“Yung approach namin going into next game, hindi naman magbabago yun eh. Ano lang kami, keep moving forward lang kami, hindi kami paatras dito.”