RAIN or Shine booked a fourth straight semifinal appearance on Wednesday night when it eliminated Air21 in the PBA Governors Cup playoffs - a run which Paul Lee attributed to a healthy roster, a fluid offense, and, more importantly, a rock-solid defense.
“Yung defense namin, yun ang mas pinagtu-tuunan namin ng pansin,” said Lee after scoring 14 points, grabbing six rebounds, and issuing three assists in Rain or Shine’s 111-90 rout of Air21.
“Parang ilang games na namin na-limit ang kalaban namin sa mababang points lang. Eh sana magtuloy 'yung ganung klaseng depensa namin, kasi kapag dumepensa kami, parang ang dali na ng offense eh,” he added.
The offense did come in handy for the Elasto Painters against the Express after knocking down five of their first eight three-pointers before hiking their lead to as much as 23 points.
Import Arizona Reid led Rain or Shine’s fiery run by finishing with 30 points, going a perfect 4-of-4 from the three-point zone, while collaring 11 rebounds, and dishing off six assists against the Express.
Despite being in the semis of the last four conferences, Lee said the Elasto Painters are not satisfied with what they have accomplished.
“Siguro naging habit na rin namin na laging nasa semis, pero sana this time, lagpasan namin sana 'yung semis, kasi third time na ito ni AZ (Reid’s nickname) sa team,” said the 'Lee-thal Weapon.'
The former University of the East standout noted that in last season’s Governors Cup, Rain or Shine entered the semifinals with several injured players, while Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan were coming off a stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
But this conference, with the team free from any injury, Lee has high hopes the Elasto Painters can better match up against Alaska in the semifinals.