THE swagger in Paul Lee that earned him the moniker “Angas ng Tondo” was in full display again in a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup game Sunday where the stakes were high between two title contending teams.
The Tondo-born guard erupted for 18 big points in the fourth quarter in spearheading Magnolia’s huge 100-90 win over San Miguel Beer that gave the Hotshots a crack at clinching the remaining twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
In all, the 32-year-old Lee torched the Beermen for 32 points, spiked by a 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, four rebounds and five assists to help his team end its elimination round campaign on a high note after winning back-to-back games at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.
Magnolia finished the eliminations with an 8-3 record for solo third place and in a good position to notch the No. 2 seed entering the quarterfinals.
It was Lee’s fifth career 30-point plus game, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, and the 18 points in the fourth period is the most scored in a quarter by a player this season.
Lee earned the reputation as the Cignal-Play PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period September 15 to 19.
The Magnolia guard out of University of the East edged TnT Tropang Giga rookie Mikey Williams in a close voting for the weekly award handed out by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat.
Also considered for the honor were the Meralco trio of Allein Maliksi, Raymond Almazan and Bong Quinto, Lee’s Magnolia teammate Ian Sangalang and veteran NLEX big man JR Quinahan.
Lee said he’s just getting started again after being slowed down by a minor hamstring injury earlier in Magnolia’s campaign.
“I want to be in my right physical condition. My game was like a roller-coaster from the time I was injured,” he said. “There are days that my body weighed down on me. But I continued to work hard.”