Paul Lee Magnolia Hotshots PBA

Magnolia Hotshots guard Paul Lee. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines-Paul Lee was no longer grappling with Magnolia’s narrow loss to San Miguel on Sunday night.

And for good reason.

“We can’t do anything about it anymore. We already lost. It’s time to focus on the next game because that’s what’s important for us—the next [match],” he told reporters shortly after a 100-98 defeat at the hands of corporate sibling San Miguel Beer at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Lee actually had every reason to sulk over the botched outing, which could’ve given the club their first win in the Governors’ Cup.

He had 19 points in the outing to pace all of the Hotshots, and figured in a tightly-contested three-point attempt that would’ve changed the outcome.

But he has let go of it all.

“As coach (Chito Victolero) said earlier, he couldn’t ask for more. Until the very end, the team did not give up. We gave it our all but we just fell short, so we have to now move on and move forward towards the next game,” he said.

Magnolia has lost three straight games now to open their campaign in the season-ending conference, but that has hardly shaken Lee’s confidence in his team.

The Hotshots, after all, have been in this kind of bind.

It could be recalled that Magnolia lost their first three meetings in the 2019 Philippine Cup. The Hotshots managed to sort things out and then march into the championship series, forging a duel against eventual winner San Miguel Beer.

“That’s one thing coach Chito was telling us: We still have a lot of games,” Lee said.

“It’ll be hard for us if we landed on a twice-to-beat disadvantage (in the playoffs). But regardless, what’s important is we try to make it. And if we do land on a twice-to-beat disadvantage, then I guess we’ll just have to work harder.”

Lee feels things would’ve been different for Magnolia had Ian Sangalang been healthy: “We all know who he is and what he could bring to the team.”

“We just couldn’t find someone to go to under the basket. But nothing we could do about his situation but pray and just hope he gets better soon.”

“And hopefully he gets to help us again,” he added.

Magnolia will try to finally get on board the winning column against Phoenix this Friday.

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