Paul Lee, the former three-point king of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), has found a new throne to rule over in the league’s latest All-Star Game.
Lee, who plays for the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok, led Team Japeth to a thrilling 140-136 victory over Team Scottie in the PBA mid-season spectacle held at the City of Passi Arena.
Lee, in a post-game interview, said in Filipino, “It’s a good feeling that we were able to give the fans here in Passi a competitive game.”
One of the innovations of the All-Star Game was the introduction of a four-point ball from 27 feet and away, which Lee made the most of by going 7-of-13 from that range.
He finished with 32 points and was named the game’s MVP, his first such honor in an All-Star Game.
Lee’s performance was a continuation of his hot shooting from the All-Star Skills Competition, where he won the Three-Point Shootout.
In the All-Star Game, he fired away five four-pointers, leading Team Japeth to a 74-65 halftime lead.
However, Team Scottie, led by Christian Standhardinger, Robert Bolick, and Arvin Tolentino, mounted a comeback in the third quarter and took a 104-101 lead.
But Lee and his teammates hung tough and played tougher in the stretch, with Jamie Malonzo, RR Pogoy, and Calvin Oftana hitting clutch shots to keep Team Japeth in the game.
In the end, it came down to a duel from the 27-foot range, with coach Yeng Guiao’s Team Scottie eventually losing the match on missed four-point shots by Bolick and CJ Perez in the closing seconds.
Lee praised the competitiveness of the PBA All-Star Game after leading his team to victory and being awarded MVP.
He referred to the lack of defense in the recent NBA All-Star Game, which received negative comments from fans.
Lee said that his coach, Tim Cone, reminded the team about the importance of treating the game seriously, and both sides played with a desire to win.
The game featured players diving for loose balls and trying to stop each other from scoring, creating an exciting atmosphere for the fans.
Those things are great for the fans, the PBA and the next All-Star Game because people will expect the same competitiveness.
He added, “Those things are great for the fans, the PBA and the next All-Star Game because people will expect the same competitiveness.”
Lee and his teammates also won the dance-off against Team Scottie, earning a cash prize of P150,000 compared to the losers’ P75,000.
The All-Star Game, which had been on a three-year hiatus, was one of the most competitive in league history, with the new innovations adding to the excitement.
The packed cheering crowd at the City of Passi Arena was treated to a thrilling show from start to finish, with Lee’s four-point shooting being the biggest highlight.
Lee’s performance in the All-Star Game cements his reputation as one of the league’s top shooters, whether from beyond the arc or from the new four-point range.