SOMEHOW there are still some emotions involved for Pau Lee as he goes up against his former team in their first PBA playoffs showdown.
But he also has a job to do.
The Star combo guard set aside his sentiment and proceeded to help the Hotshots pull off a one-sided 118-82 rout of Rain or Shine in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinals series on Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lee didn't take charge on offense on a night when Allein Maliksi and Aldrech Ramos caught fire for Star by firing 16 and 15 points, respectively.
But the former University of the East star dished off 10 assists aside from finishing with nine points and four rebounds as the Hotshots dealt Lee’s former team its worst loss since absorbing a 43-point beating at the hands of Barangay Ginebra in 2009.
Although thrilled with the prospect of the Hotshots now being just a win away from returning in the semifinals, Lee admitted it was hard on his part winning especially against a team which just a season ago, he helped secure the championship of this very same conference.
“Siyempre last season, andun ako sa Rain or Shine tapos nag-champion kami,” said Lee, who was even the Finals MVP of the PBA Press Corps when the Elasto Painters beat Alaska in six games of the championship series. “Pero ngayon idi-defend nila yung crown pero andito na ako sa Star.
“Of course may emotion, pero we need to be professional. I have a task sa Star na maglaro. I’m just doing my job.”
Despite Star getting the headway in the series, Lee knows Rain or Shine is very much capable of coming back, knowing a franchise where he played his first four seasons in the league.
“It’s not gonna be easier the next game. I know all those guys,” he stressed.
Game 2 of the series is set Wednesday, also at the Big Dome.