RAIN or Shine guard Paul Lee is tired of seeing Alaska win the rebounds battle in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series.
For the fifth straight game in the best-of-seven series, the Aces ruled the boards on Saturday, 65-52, leading to their 93-88 win and a 3-2 lead over the Elasto Painters.
With the weeklong New Year break ahead of them, the six-foot Rain or Shine combo guard is reminding his teammates to tone down the celebration, and instead, stay focused on the semifinal series.
“Talo na naman kami sa rebounds. Lagi niya (coach Yeng Guiao) kaming nire-remind tungkol sa rebounds. Kailangan pag-trabahuhin namin kung gusto naming makalagpas sa series na ito,” said Lee, whose team has lost the rebounding battle by an average of more than 12 boards per game in the series.
“So siguro celebrate lang (ng New Year) ng salgit, tapos, balik agad ng practice. Kasi may trabaho pa rin talaga,” added the spitfire guard, who resumed practice on Monday.
“Di ko sasayangin yung opportunity na ganito. May chance pa naman kami, trabahuhin lang namin.”
Lee said there’s no denying the fact that Alaska’s solid frontline of Sonny Thoss, Calvin Abueva, Eric Menk and Vic Manuel has been hurting them all series long.
“Di namin magawan ng paraan yung big men nila (Aces). Kung napapansin niyo, every game ang bigs nila ang pumapatay. Lagi lang kami nalulusutan sa ilalim,” he said.
In Game Five alone, Abueva finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Thoss came away with 13 and eight boards. Manuel added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Menk had seven and seven boards to lead Alaska’s dominance in the shaded lane.
Although the odds are stacked against them, Lee said the Elasto Painters can't afford to get ahead of themselves, adding they need take care of Game Six, scheduled on January 4.
“One game at a time lang siguro,” said Lee, whose team took a day off on Sunday.
“Kung iisipin namin yung dalawang sunud na panalo, mahirap siguro 'yun. Trabahuhin muna naming yung Game Six, then rumble na sa Game Seven.”