The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok is scheduled for a best-of-seven semi-finals series against the NLEX Road Warriors at 7:00 P.M. on March 14, 2018 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots and the Road Warriors semis series is now coverted to a Best-of-Five series after both teams even at 1-1 in their first two meetings. Taking a series lead is a priority for both squads to get a winning momentum.
Despite of having a manpower issue due to injuries, the Pambansang Manok were able to snag Game 2 from NLEX. Paul Lee went unstoppable and played like the “Lee-thal Weapon”. A moniker gave to him due to his scoring capability especially when he was still playing with Rain or Shine Elasto Painters under coach Yeng Guiao.
“Inisip ko kung siya pa rin yung pinaglalaruan kong coach, for sure di rin siya magiging happy sa performance ko,” Lee said. “Ginamit ko lang na motivation yun going into this game.”
The ACL injury of Marc Pingris is the source of motivation from Magnolia. Pingris who will be resting for the entire season until his injury got healed gave his squad message that surely increased their morale.
“Sinabi lang niya na ipanalo namin tong series na to para sa kanya. Then, niremind niya kami na di na maibabalik tong panahon na to,” said Lee. “So kailangan maging memorable sa amin ito kasi yun nga wala na kaming magagawa, si Kuya Ping injured.”
Losing Game 2 is really a good one for the Road Warriors according to coach Yeng Guiao. In his perspective, his team can use it to make better in their next playoffs schedule.
“In a way, it’s good because it releases some of the pressure (off us),” said Guiao. “I expect us to be recharged in Game 3,” he added.
NLEX’s backcourt duo of Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena only logged a combined 15 points performance. They got single handedly outscored by Paul Lee who dropped 27 points.
Road Warriors fans are expecting that their guards will make a bounce back in Game 3.