But the defensive assignment is taking its toll on his offense.
For the second time in three games, Magnolia’s top gunner failed to hit double figures in scoring as he had to take on Pogoy in the defensive end in the Hotshots’ 93-92 loss in Game 3 on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lee was again assigned to hound Pogoy all-game long and had to set aside his offense, leaving him out of rhythm offensively on a 2-of-11 shooting from the field for the prolific guard out of University of the East.
But if that would help the Hotshots win the series, Lee welcomes the change in his role with open arms.
“I think yun ang pinaka-maitutulong ko sa series na ito, yung depensa. Kasi first game pumutok si RR. Sobrang ganda ng game niya so tsinallenge kami ng mga coaches namin, and I think yun yung kailangang maitulong ko ngayon,” said Lee.
Pogoy was limited to just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting and was forced to five turnovers in a tightly-fought battle which the Tropang Giga won on a last-second three-point basket by Jayson Castro.
In Game 1, the TNT shooting guard finished with 23 points and then only had 11 in the next game when Lee began to take on him on defense.
The defensive job being done by Lee was not lost on TNT coach Chot Reyes.
"The guy who's playing excellent defense is Paul Lee. He's really defending Roger Pogoy well the past two games. He's really giving Roger Pogoy a lot of problems and that's something we have to sort out," noted Reyes.
Lee’s offense however, also took a hit as he’s just averaging 9.3 points so far through three games in the best-of-seven series which TNT leads, 2-1.
“Yun lang ang kailangan kong tanggapin, yung ganoong sitwasyon,” said the veteran Magnolia guard. “Sa akin ngayon kasi talagang binibigay ko yung effort ko sa depensa kasi yun ang mas importante sa amin ngayon.
“Buhos lang talaga lahat sa depensa kasi lagi naman sinasabi ni coach Chito na yung defense namin ang magpapanalo sa series na ito.”