Guiao's old fighting words ring in his ears as Paul Lee atones for Game 1 letdown
Magnolia star Paul Lee is quick to redeem himself from a poor Game 1 performance. Jerome Ascano

APART from giving his former coach a headache, Paul Lee felt he also somehow made Yeng Guiao proud after putting on a vintage performance for Magnolia in their 99-84 win over NLEX in Game Two of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Monday night.

After contributing just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting and committing five turnovers in a Game One loss, Lee knew that if he was still playing for Guiao, the fiery mentor would definitely give him a tongue-lashing to egg him out of his slump.

And Lee made sure not to disappoint as he regained his lethal form by tallying 27 points, including four triples, four boards, three assists, and three steals in 29 minutes as a starter to lead his team back in the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

“Sa tagal ng pinagsamahan namin, inisip ko kung siya pa rin yung pinaglalaruan kong coach, for sure ‘di rin siya magiging happy sa performance ko (sa Game 1), so yun lang, ginamit ko lang na motivation yun going into this game,” admitted Lee, who played under Guiao in his first five years in the league at Rain or Shine.

“Of course mapapagalitan niya ako,” he added of his wishful pep talk with Guiao. “So siyempre, ganun din naiisip ng mga coacing staff namin, kailangan lang talaga mag-bounce back kasi very big game itong Game Two sa amin, kailangan maka-even kami sa series na ‘to.”

Lee went to work right away, surpassing his Game One output right in the first quarter where he fired 10 points, before finishing just four points shy of his season high.

“Ano lang, aggressive from the start,” Lee said. “Ang mission ko lang is yung mahawa yung teammates ko na maging aggressive sa start, ayun nag-response naman.”

But the former Rookie of the Year insisted he has yet to fully figure out Guiao and the Road Warriors’ defensive gameplan on him.

“Actually ‘di pa naman na-solve kasi di pa naman tapos yung series,” Lee said. “Na-tie pa lang namin sa 1-1 so ayun ready lang kami for next game.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos