Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2020 23:21:30 +0000
The “Bubble Clasico” could go down as one of Magnolia’s biggest wins over bitter rival the Ginebra Kings so far.
That was sweet especially for the team’s lethal weapon in Paul Lee.
Lee came through with a huge a three in a blazing finish that enabled the Hotshots to pull off a 102-92 win that snapped a three-game losing streak, and in the process, stopped Ginebra’s four-game winning run.
Though he just finished with 15 points – he’s averaging 18 points before the game – Lee was glad he delivered big on a very night for him and wife, Rubie.
For Lee, that made their fourth wedding anniversary worthy to remember.
Sadly though, there was no steak and wine for the lovely couple due to travel restrictions.
The Hotshots came back from a 10-point third quarter deficit before frustrating the Kings on the other end with their defense to secure a rare win over the Kings.
Ginebra suffered its first defeat after starting the season with a 4-0 record while its 11-game winning streak against Magnolia in the eliminations dating back to the 2015-16 season was also snapped.
The marquee game went ahead on the day PBA announced that an unnamed player from Blackwater tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the postponement of Sunday’s scheduled first game between the Elite and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Coach Chito Victolero praised his players for keeping their focus in check despite the pre-game distractions.
“I texted all my players to stay focused and (PBA commissioner Willie Marcial) assured us that we’re safe here in the bubble. Nag-settle down lang yung minds namin na parang meron kaming business na kailangan tapusin,” said Victolero.
He’s also glad to see Magnolia respond in a big way after dropping three straight assignments against Alaska, Meralco and Phoenix Super LPG.
Last Friday, the Hotshots looked like they were heading for victory after holding an 80-67 lead with over eight minutes to go in the fourth but allowed the Fuel Masters to launch a 22-0 run before losing 91-84.
Jackson Corpuz had 20 points and six rebounds while the Hotshots 15 points each from Mark Barroca and Lee, whose contested three from way out gave them a 99-89 lead with under a minute to go.
Lee was mainly responsible for Magnolia’s comeback from a 75-65 deficit, three minutes left in the third, by scoring seven during a 13-0 run ending with a three-point play that made it 78-75.
Ian Sangalang had 14 points an