SO who says Magnolia can't win with Paul Lee not scoring?
The Hotshots showed they are more than just a Paul Lee team in a grindout 82-74 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Wednesday night in Game 5 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series at the Astrodome.
Lee failed to score in 27 minutes of play, held to 0-for-8 shooting from.the floor by his former team. But that didn't stop the Hotshots from winning for the third straight time in the best-of-seven series and moving on the cusp of making the finals of the all-Filipino conference for the second year in a row.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero was not bothered by the uncharacteristic scoring spell, saying Lee brings other intangibles to the game other than his scoring.
"We knew na it's not the points, but his leaderdhip. Yung presence ni Paul ang pinaka-importante sa amin," he stressed.
"How he draws the defense, how he leads his team. It's not whether he scores 30, 20, or two points or no points. I know Paul, how humble he is. He can score anytime but he wants his teammates to have that confidence also."
It was the first time Lee ended up scoreless since Magnolia's opening day loss to TnT Katropa this conference.
Lee sees no problem in that.
"Binabasa ko lang naman yung opportunity. At ang kapalit nun, nalilibre naman ang mga teammates ko," he said.
He did console himself with the fact he finished with the highest +/- percentage for the Hotshots.
"Nag end up naman ako ng +/-11 sa buong game. So ok sa akin yun kahit na maging scoreless pa ako," said Lee.