Magnolia Hotshot Paul Lee’s shooting clinic steals the show at PBA All-Stars
In the City of Passi, it was a day of pure basketball bliss as the PBA All-Stars 3-Point Shootout and All-Star Game showcased some of the league’s best long-range gunners and most electrifying players.
The day kicked off with a star-studded 3-Point Shootout that featured the likes of San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter, Magnolia’s Paul Lee, and Terrafirma’s Juami Tiongson, among others.
But it was Lee who shone the brightest, as he defeated the field with a scorching 28-point performance in the championship round.
He bested Lassiter and Tiongson, who finished with 21 and 18 points, respectively, in the finals.
Lee was in the zone all day, draining shots from all over the court and even hitting all five colored balls in one rack to the delight of the appreciative crowd.
As he basked in his victory, Lee gave credit to PBA legend Allan “The Triggerman” Caidic for his pre-game “pahiyang,” which seemed to have given him the boost he needed to win.
Lee recalled, “Nakasabay ko si coach Allan kanina sa breakfast sa hotel, sabi ko pahawak ng kamay para manalo tayo dito (I was with coach Allan earlier at breakfast at the hotel, I said I’ll hold your hand so I can win here).”
Lassiter once again fell short in the PBA All-Stars 3-Point Shootout, scoring just 21 points in the final round and missing out on the title for the sixth time in his career.
Lassiter was denied the title in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018, and his streak of near-misses continued in this year’s edition.
TNT’s Roger Pogoy and Lee tied for the top spot in the elimination round with 22 points apiece.
However, Pogoy fell just short of making it to the final round as he ran out of time and finished with 21 points.
Other players who participated in the competition included NorthPort’s Arvin Tolentino (21 points), Ginebra’s Jeremiah Gray (18), Meralco’s Aaron Black (17), Phoenix’s Tyler Tio (17), Blackwater’s RK Ilagan (16), NLEX’s Kevin Alas (15), and Rain or Shine’s Gian Mamuyac (15). Converge’s Jerrick Balanza finished last with 11 points.
But Lee’s day was far from over, as he led his Team Japeth to a thrilling 140-136 victory over Team Scottie in the All-Star Game.
Lee was simply unstoppable, finishing with a game-high 32 points and earning his first All-Star MVP award.
He was especially lethal from beyond the four-point line, where he hit an incredible 7-of-13 attempts.
Coach Tim Cone, who led Team Japeth, couldn’t help but marvel at Lee’s shooting prowess, calling him “an incredibly deep shooter.”
Despite Team Scottie’s valiant effort to come back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter, Lee and his teammates held on to secure the win.
As the day came to a close, fans and players alike were left with a sense of awe and appreciation for the sheer talent and skill on display.