Paul Lee got off to an explosive start in 2018 after steering Magnolia to back-to-back wins in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup.
Lee captured his first PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award after averaging 17 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this year, leading Magnolia past KIA Picanto, 124-77 and NLEX (105-94), respectively.
The Hotshots opened the brand new year by hammering hapless KIA Picanto, 124-77 last Wednesday with Lee catching fire behind his strong third-quarter offensive.
The six-foot Lee, his left knee injury now a thing of the past after undergoing surgery in the offseason, banged all 13 of his points in the third quarter as Magnolia turned the tables against KIA, which took a two-point edge at halftime.
The 28-year-old “Angas ng Tondo” also made his presence felt in other departments, adding four assists and three blocks.
Four days later, the sweet-shooting Lee upped the ante of his offense, firing 21 points, spiked by four triples in the Hotshots’ domination of the Road Warriors.
Although NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena won his personal duel against Lee with a PBA career-high 31 points, the former University of the East star made the biggest baskets in the second half as Magnolia improved to 3-1.
Lee scored 12 points in the third canto, a stretch that saw Magnolia assert its dominance, before holding off NLEX’s fourth-quarter stand.
The Magnolia guard beat Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel and Chris Banchero; GlobalPort guard Stanley Pringle, Blackwater big man JP Erram and Mac Belo, as well as San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos for the weekly citation.