PAUL Lee didn’t mind that Rain or Shine’s PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal game against Barako Bull dragged on to a second overtime on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters could’ve cruised to an easier win that would put them into the semifinals right away had they protected an early 25-point lead.
But Lee welcomed down-the-wire experience, saying this type of games will only toughen the Elasto Painters as they head deeper into the playoffs of the season-ending conference.
“For me, parang mas naging okay pa na nangyari yung second overtime,” the Painters star guard said after his team outlasted the Energy, 134-132, behind his heroics. “Kasi kung nanalo kami (ng mas madali) baka mag-relax kami sa next level.”
“Mas gusto ko na nananalo kami ng ganyan,” he added. “Lumabas 'yung toughness, 'yung poise namin sa dulo.”
Lee epitomized the Painters’ steely nerves down the stretch as he scored the marginal basket - a floater off the spin move with 7.4 seconds left in the second extra session.
It was Lee’s only two-point basket the entire game after his first six conversions were all from beyond the arc.
And Painters coach Yeng Guiao was no longer surprised.
“He’s been doing that for a long time since he’s been in the PBA,” the outspoken mentor said. “You can put the ball in his hands and you can just clear away some space for him and he will make the right decision.”
Guiao admitted he took long to find Lee in the endgame, which he believes extended the game further.
“I took many risks in the endgame,” he said. “I just wanted the ball in his hands. At some point, we turned the ball over and the ball did not get in his hands. But as long as the ball is in his hands, we can leave the decision-making to him.”