PAUL Lee was quick to note the similarity from last year's Finals duel to this one after Magnolia took the 99-94 Game One win over San Miguel on Wednesday.
Last season, the Hotshots drew first blood in their championship clash against the Beermen but eventually dropped the next four games.
That's why this time, the cat-quick Tondo-born guard told his side to be on the lookout for any adjustments the opposition will make for Game Two.
"Kailangan maging ready lang kami," he said. "Last year, nakauna kami pero na-straight kami ng apat. Kailangan makita namin kung ano yung mga mali namin dahil may time kami na ma-correct yun. We need to be ready every game."
Lee was instrumental in the Game One conquest in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, scattering 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists as the Magnolia guards thoroughly outplayed their San Miguel counterparts.
"Nasunod lahat ng gameplan," he reflected as the Hotshots kept the Beermen in check, limiting their usually high-octane offense to just 25-percent from deep, including a 0-of-8 clip from marksman Marcio Lassiter.
"Nagusap-usap lang kami na kailangan maging ready kami sa kung anong counter yung gagawin nila sa amin. Kumbaga help the helper na yung mangyari at sanay naman kami doon. Yun yung nagdala sa amin, yung depensa talaga."
Lee also lauded the efforts of his fellow backcourt partners in Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, and Justin Melton, noting that the Hotshots' execution gets a lot easier if the guards play at their best.
"Yun yung strength namin, na kapag maganda nilalaro ng mga guards namin, madali yung basketball para sa amin. We need to be aggressive, all the guards, and kailangan ma-shoot lang namin yung mga nakukuha naming libreng tira," he said.
Game One, however, is over and done with as both teams shift their attention to Game Two on Friday, with Magnolia intent to take a 2-0 advantage against the reigning four-time champion San Miguel.
"Hindi pa tapos. Sana magtuloy-tuloy lang kami," said Lee. "Ibubuhos lang namin every game at kung may chance kami sa huli na makuha yung panalo, iga-grab lang namin."