PAUL Lee admitted Magnolia didn't respect Rain or Shine's bench players enough, resulting in loss in Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Friday night.
The Hotshots star said the team underestimated some of the Elasto Painters’ back-up players, who it turned out, played key roles in the team’s 84-77 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We did not respect some of their guys,” Lee said. “Kailangan matuto kami doon including me. Kailangan matuto kamit lahat doon.”
Kris Rosales, Rey Nambatac, Ed Daquioag, Mark Borboran, and even rookie Javee Mocon stepped up and proved to Magnolia that they belonged in the playoffs.
Mocon, playing in his first semifinals stint, led the Elasto Painters with 15 points and presided over a third-quarter run along with Nambatac and Daquioag while Lee rode the bench.
Magnolia only had a one-day break after ousting Ginebra in a three-game series that went the distance and Lee admitted he was spent.
“Naubos, naubos talaga, I admit it,” said Lee as he slowly walked out of the Big Dome with an obvious limp as both of his knees were packed with ice.
“Parang na-drain talaga ako doon,” he added.
Lee was 5-of-13 from the field and a woeful 0-for-7 from three-point range, missing thrice from downtown as the Hotshots tried to mount a late rally.
Still, he was good enough to finish with 15 points, four rebounds, and six assists.
“Forget this game. Kunin lang yung mga positives, then yung mga negative ma-correct lang namin,” said Lee.