August 8, 2022
Coming back from a four-game absence, Paul Lee notches a season-high in points as Magnolia stretches its winning streak in the PBA Philippine Cup to four games

MANILA, Philippines – Paul Lee worried that he would disrupt the rapport Magnolia had developed during his absence.

After all, the Hotshots went 3-1 over the four straight games Lee sat out due to back and calf injuries.

But Lee fit like a glove in his first match back, finishing with season-high 17 points on a 5-of-9 clip from long distance as Magnolia ripped Terrafirma, 104-83, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday, July 8.

“I was pressured because the team was doing well without me. I did not know what kind of impact I would have on the team,” Lee said in a mix of Filipino and English.

“Now, I can breathe easily because I performed well and I contributed to the team.”

Together with Ian Sangalang and James Laput, Lee helped set the tone in the blowout.

Sangalang (16), Lee (11), and Laput (10) accounted for more than half of their output in the first two quarters as the Hotshots enjoyed a 64-33 lead going into the break.

“My teammates and my coaches trust me so it was easy for me to recover,” Lee said.

Lee, though, admitted he still has ways to go as he continues to rediscover his top form after being sidelined for nearly a month.

He sat out a total of five games this conference and has not played consecutive games.

“I’m probably 70% physical-wise. I hope that I can raise my level of conditioning so I can help the team more,” Lee said.

Fortunately for Lee, he has another week to get better before Magnolia faces Meralco – its semifinals foe in the Governors’ Cup last season – on July 15 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. –

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