Magnolia Hotshots can Contend Provided that they Remain Healthy

Magnolia Hotshots
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Injury problems to a specific player can be amended as long as the rest of the team steps up for the injured player. But injury problems to multiple players? That’s a different story. No matter how good your coach and/or your team is, if your is not physically fit to play on the court, you will definitely struggle even against bad teams. 
And over the past conferences, that has been the problem with the Magnolia Hotshots. In fact, they were consistent on being on the semifinals only to be hit by injury to star players like Paul Lee and Marc Pingris. Paul Lee, for one, missed the latter parts of their Governors’ Cup semifinal series against the Meralco Bolts who swept the Hotshots in 3 games.
After dropping their Christmas Day game against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, the Magnolia Hotshots have been on the surge, winning 3 straight games, the last one being a 97-91 come-from-behind-win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters. That game saw the Hotshots erase a 5-point deficit in the final 3 minutes of the 4th quarter through the combined efforts of Marc Pingris, Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee and Rafi Reavis.

More Healthy Players = Higher Chances of Winning

While there’s no denying the fact that the Magnolia Hotshots have one of the oldest cores in the PBA, they are still among the few teams this conference who have both the talent and the experience to take down the defending Philippine Cup champions, the San Miguel Beermen. They just need to do one thing to remain competitive and hopefully end their semifinal slumps: stay away from injuries especially during the latter part of the conference.  
Why?
With the PBA now allowing a higher amount of physicality during games, we can expect more bodies banging against each other plus a few bodies flying onto the court. While it’s good and fun for the fans to see the league allowing more bangings between players, these are exactly the things that the Hotshots should be careful about because one bad fall could hurt not just a player but the conference of the team. 

Conclusion

With the Hotshots scheduled to face the Talk N Text KaTropa this coming Saturday, Chito Victolero can only hope and pray that none of his players will get not just during their next game but for the rest of the PBA’s 43rd season because no coach enjoys seeing his players not being able to play due to injury. 

Leethal Weapon is still Lethal: Earns PBA Player of the Week Recognition

Paul Lee of Magnolia
(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Paul Lee adds another recognition after leading Magnolia to back-to-back wins

Paul Lee, despite the tons of injuries that hampered his performance in the last several seasons and even made him miss most of the Star Hotshots’, now known as the Magnolia Hotshots, semifinal series against the Meralco Bolts during the previous Governors’ Cup.
Now healthy and free of injury, Paul Lee is ready to lead his Hotshots as they attempt to end their semifinals upsets over the past season. And he is already making noise early on the 43rd season as he was named as the Player of the Week after leading his team to two consecutive wins after dropping their season opener against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. 

Just how good was Paul Lee?

Paul Lee, AKA The Angas ng Tondo, averaged 17 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds and, 1.5 blocks in their first two games of the new year. His brilliance started off against the winless, Kia Picanto when he scored all of his 13 points in the pivotal 3rd quarter alone which enabled the Hotshots to run away for good. Then, he took the super rookie, Kiefer Ravena to school as Lee scored 21 points to help Magnolia beat Ravena’s NLEX Road Warriors. 
By taking the recognition, Paul Lee just beat some of the big shots in the league such as 4-time MVP, June Mar Fajardo, Stanley Pringle, Vic Manuel, JP Eram, among others. If he can keep on playing this good, we shouldn’t be surprised if he is to become one of the leading candidates for the Best Player of the Conference award for the All-Filipino conference. 

Conclusion

The Magnolia Hotshots are currently tied with the Gin Kings as both squads have a 3-1 record which is good for second place just behind the unbeaten San Miguel Beermen and one of the reasons why the Hotshots are hot is because of the brilliance of Paul Lee. And like it or not, Paul Lee is more than just about “angas”. 

Magnolia Wins 2nd Straight Game, Beats NLEX

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)


The Hotshots use a big 3rd quarter to run away for good.

There’s no denying the fact that Kiefer Ravena has made the NLEX Road Warriors a better team overall since his grand arrival to the team. And he wasn’t all hype either as he backed his popularity with decent numbers as he led the Road Warriors to straight victories to open the PBA Philippine Cup. Then, he was limited to 8 points against the Phoenix Fuel Masters. Everybody had one thought after that game: Kiefer Ravena will come back better.
And that’s what he did. Kiefer Ravena scored 31 points on 12 for 20 field goal shooting but the Magnolia Hotshots came out victorious, 105-94 after running away for good in the 3rd quarter. That, by the way, was Magnolia’s 2nd straight victory as they hiked their record to 3-1, good for second place behind the still unbeaten San Miguel Beernen. On the other hand, NLEX absorbed its second straight defeat.
To begin with, both teams are filled with star power and the talent but what enabled Magnolia to win the game? Below are the things that gave the Hotshots the win:

Paul Lee’s 3rd Quarter Run

To begin with, the Hotshots were already up 51-43 at the halftime as they outscored the Road Warriors, 30-18 in the first quarter alone. Then, with the Hotshots hanging to a single-digit lead, the boys of Chito Victolero went on an offensive onslaught in the third quarter that was led by none other than their star guard, Paul Lee who scored 12 of his 21 points in that decisive quarter which took away the life out of the Road Warriors when the Hotshots scored 34 points while limiting NLEX to only 25 points. 

54 Points from the Bench

Sure, Kiefer Ravena had 31 points and Kevin Alas had 13 for the starting unit of the Road Warriors while JR Quinahan had 22 points while coming off the bench for Yeng Guiao but it was the bench of Victolero who did the better job of taking off some of the offensive load away from their starters as they scored 54 points. Rome dela Rosa had 14 points while veteran big man, Aldrech Ramos had 11 points. PJ Simon and Jio Jalalon had 9 points apiece. Now that’s a balanced effort, folks. 

Defensive Effort

If anything, it was the defensive work of the Hotshots that did the wonders for Magnolia against an offensive-minded team as the NLEX Road Warriors were limited to under 100 points for the second consecutive team. In addition to this, the Hotshots also limited NLEX to only 20% shooting from the three-point line who only made 5 of their 24 ATTEMPTS from deep.

Conclusion

This game proved one thing: no matter how great your numbers are, it’s meaningless if you don’t get the big W. And for the Magnolia Hotshots, this one was definitely a big win for them because according to Chito Victolero, having two straight wins to open 2018 sets the right mindset into their players that they can beat any team no matter what the odds are.
For NLEX, riding on a 2-game losing streak will mean more yells from Yeng Guiao especially during practices but the beauty of it, they can learn from this experience because now that the teams have cracked their weakness, they just need to overcome their horrible offensive performance during their last two games to score over 100 points but they will need more help because Kiefer Ravena can’t lead them to wins every single time. 

Magnolia was Indeed Careful against Kia- Hotshots Rout Picanto by 47

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

A big 2nd half enabled the Hotshots to get win #2 in Philippine Cup

Heading into yesterday’s game, Chito Victolero has said that he was aiming to be careful against the Kia Picanto, even saying that the Picanto has a new coach in Ricky Dandan and has a new system which, according to Victolero himself, what makes the Picanto a dangerous team and if they weren’t careful, the Magnolia Hotshots would have gained the horrors of becoming the first team to lose to Kia this conference.
Fortunately, the Hotshots got their coach’s message, loud and clear as Magnolia made sure that Kia was nowhere near upsetting them by cruising to a 124-77 victory- the biggest winning margin so far this season.
And here’s how the Hotshots did it:

Big 2nd Half

To give credit to Ricky Dandan and his players, the Kia Picanto actually tied the score at 22 apiece at the end of the first quarter and even outscored Magnolia, 27-25 in the second quarter.
Then, things went south for the Picanto come the third quarter as Magnolia erupted for 34 points while limiting Kia to only 11 of their own. Things didn’t get better in the fourth quarter as the Hotshots continued to pound on the points, totaling 43 points while limiting the Picanto to 17 points. When you’re that careful against a winless team, you don’t stop scoring until the final buzzer and that’s what Magnolia did. 

91 Points from Magnolia’s Bench. Alone

The bench players of Chito Victolero actually outscored the ENTIRE Kia Picanto team, 91-77. In a game where Paul Lee only had 13 points while Mark Barroca had 4 points, Justin Melton led the way with 23 points while making 5 of his 6 attempts from the three-point line. Ian Sangalang added 21 points and 9 rebounds. Rookie Robert Herndon had 14 points to go along with 7 rebounds while Jio Jalalon, who made his season debut, had 11 points. 

A Good Game Overall for Magnolia

If anything, Magnolia’s dominating victory against a still winless team can be enough proof that the Hotshots are a better team now than they were during the previous teams. They shot better from the field, making 47% of their shots including a 40% outing from the three-point line. Defensively, the Hotshots stole the ball, 10 times, forced Kia to commit 25 turnovers while converting those turnovers into 37 points. They also outscored the Picanto, 30-5 in points off fast break opportunities. 

Conclusion

Although it’s only one game and it was against a winless team, teams will definitely look at Magnolia’s performance in this particular game for scouting purposes. Why? Winning by that BIG margin can only be done by a team who can score and defend well. This serves as a warning to the other teams. They shouldn’t take Magnolia for granted even though their stars are struggling. 

Guard Showdown: Lee, Yap: Who Would Lead His Team to Greatness?

James Yap and Paul Lee

Ever since the trade between Paul Lee and James Yap happened, comparisons arise from time to time. 

This season, let us try to extract possible outcomes for this two superstar guards with their respective teams.

The question is who would succeed this season?

It is obvious that the two guards light became dim at the time they’ve been traded. It is because they’ve lost the built chemistry with the former team. Star Hotshots, Now the Magnolia Hotshots is a defensive team, while Rain or Shine is a run and gun type. An offensive and defensive team is very much different with all aspects especially game pace which when he used to a specific one, will take a significant amount of a time to adapt to a new one.
The variety of their teams explained their dormancy this past season. The gameplay is so new to Lee and Yap that they’re being veteran in the league seemed to shrink to a negligible, insignificant amount.
I have mentioned earlier about the ‘built chemistry’ of Paul Lee with the Elasto Painters and James Yap with the former Star Hotshots. From the term itself ‘built’, chemistry is not an inherent character of a team, it is a substance built through experience. Assuming that one season is a relatively sufficient amount of time for the chemistry to be established with their new teams, how and what will be their role and whose team would be greater?

1. The Elasto Painters with James Yap

Almost everybody in ROS can deliver from beyond the arc. In fact, even the biggest man there is like Beau Belga could easily drill threes. With the addition of James Yap in their pool, they could even empower the run and gun style of ROS by significantly increasing outside efficiency with Yap. A more accurate and efficient three-point shooting would be ROS’ main card.

2. Hotshots with the Leethal Weapon

Paul Lee is known to be one of the players with the best handle in the league. The Filipino basketball lacks that and that makes Paul Lee an exceptional guard. He could play in all kinds of situation and make baskets for himself or for his teammates with his fancy dribbling skills. With Paul Lee in a defensive team like Magnolia, their defensive stops being converted to points probability would increase. A point guard which can cross over and cut through the defense without using screens much would be very great because the original positions of the play would not be disrupted during set up of play. All Paul Lee needs is isolation.

Who would be a better team?

Prediction
With the ROS, it is only an empowered outside shooting. They just have an improved old style. But with the Hotshots, Paul Lee’s skills would make the whole team look and play different especially offensively. It would be the Magnolia over ROS this season.

Balls-Eye: Top 5 Point Guards to Hustle this Season

Top 5 Point Guards to Hustle this Season

With a known disadvantage brought by the presence of two twin towers. The playmaker providing an extra boost for the team is a must. Here are 5 players that will surely go head-to-head this season.

1. Scottie Thompson

Scottie Thompson
Despite Brgy Ginebra having its own twin tower. They are one of the must beat team today. They need some extra push aside from Japeth and Greg and extra efforts require some exceptionality which Scottie Thompson possesses. His unusual style of playing as a guard would increase Gin Kings’ unpredictability.

2. Terrence Romeo

Terrence Romeo
Of course, Romeo wouldn’t be missing in action. It became his nature as a huge scorer for the Batang Pier. Romeo is also hungry for the title. At his young career, he already has proven himself and there’s only one thing left to cement his legacy, winning a title. Surely, Romeo gets fiercer and fiercer with every cup that he and Globalport haven’t won or even reached the finals.

3 and 4. James Yap and Paul Lee

As criticisms arise that trading these two guys onto each other’s respective teams are ineffective. Yap and Lee surely have the drive to convert criticisms into fallacies. Both of their teams were powerhouses and they do not want them though explicit, be these teams reason to sink to the abyss.

5. Jayson Castro

Jayson Castro
Who can match the speed of the blur? The best point guard in Asia would never be left behind the point guard showdown. Though it might be hard for Castro to penetrate when against Ginebra and SMB, he’ll make threes rain on the arena.

Lee Explodes for 30 Points in Magnolia’s Debut Win

Yep! The Lee-thal Weapon still has it

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
One team is entering the new season under a new team with the hopes of bringing something new to the league. The other team is hoping to begin anew as they were coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory.
Despite missing key players to injury, the Magnolia Hotshots were able to rely on their defense to win their first game of the season against the Alaska Aces, 108-95.

Slow Start

The game started off slow for both teams as the Alaska Aces held a 6-5 edge with 3 minutes into the game.A few possessions and fouls later, the Magnolia Hotshots were already down 17-8 as Jvee Casio knocked down a three-pointer, forcing Chito Victolero to call a timeout with under 6 minutes left in the first quarter.
After a Mark Barroca basket. Jeron Teng completed a three-point play on the other end to give the Aces a 10-point lead. The Hotshots were visibly struggling as they were also dealing with the absences of their key players due to injury. Despite their sluggish start, Magnolia was able to stay close after Paul Lee drained a buzzer-beating trey to make it 26-21 at the end of the first quarter.

The Chickens Started Flying in the Second Quarter

After all, the Magnolia Hotshots are the “Pambansang Manok”, right? Just when the Aces were beginning to re-establish a double-digit lead, the Hotshots clamped down on D and went on a scoring run to make 35-30 with 9 minutes to play in the first half. Two consecutive inside baskets have finally enabled the Hotshots to take the lead, 36-35. 
Magnolia was able to slash into the sloppy defense of Alaska as their lead extended to 8 points, at 50-42 with under 3 minutes to play in the quarter. Kyle Pascual nailed a free throw later to give the Hotshots a 10-point lead as he added another lay-up to make it 56-44. The Hotshots walked into their locker with a 10-point advantage, at 57-47- thanks to their improved field goal shooting which was 55% for the first half and their defense which limited Alaska to only 2 for 10 shooting from the three-point line. 

The Beast got Unleashed Early in the Third. BUT

Calvin Abueva scored 8 points in the opening minutes of the second quarter to bring down the deficit to 6 points only for Magnolia to bring it back to 9 on a three-point shot. An offensive putback by Ian Sangalang put the Hotshots at 70-59 with under 7 minutes to play as the Aces were slowly fading anew.
As turnovers and defensive lapses began to pile up, the Aces saw themselves down by 14 points after Mark Barroca added another inside shot. Add Alaska’s inability to get the defensive rebounds to their woes plus an injury on the big man, Vic Manuel.  Paul Lee later drained a long bomb to put Magnolia by 15 points as PJ Simon added another trey to make it 87-671 heading into the final two minutes of the third quarter.  Both teams entered the final quarter with Magnolia holding an 87-74 lead.

The Aces Tried to Come Back. Tried

The Aces got within 11 points in the first 2 minutes of the 4th quarter thanks to their aggressiveness. Carl Cruz’s basket pushed the lead down to  9 only to watch Robert Herdon complete a 3-point play to stop the Hotshots’ bleeding. Another three, this time from Justin Melton brought the lead back up to 16, at 97-81.
The lead went down to as low as 8 points with under 4 minutes to play as Alaska forced Magnolia to difficult shots and took advantage of their opportunities on the break. That was before Paul Lee hit another three to make it a double-digit lead again. From that point on, Magnolia slowly wasted away the clock as Robert Herndon added another basket to put the game away.

The Numbers: The Good and the Ugly

Paul Lee scored 30 points off the bench to go along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Riego Gamalinda added 15 points while Ian Sangalang chipped in 13. Magnolia shot better from the field all game long, making 51% of their shot attempts while limiting Alaska to only 46% field goal shooting. Magnolia also forced 22  turnovers.
Calvin Abueva had 20 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists for the Aces but also had 5 of the 22 turnovers of Alaska. Vic Manuel also had 20 points while Jeron Teng added 16 points in his debut. 

The scores:

MAGNOLIA 108 – Lee 30, Gamalinda 15, Sangalang 13, Dela Rosa 10, Simon 9, Herndon 9, K. Pascual 9, Barroca 6, Melton 3, Ramos 2, Brondial 2.

ALASKA 95 – Abueva 20, Manuel 20, Teng 16, Casio 10, R. Pascual 7, Enciso 5, Exciminiano 5, Banchero 4, Thoss 3, J. Pascual 2, Cruz 2, Magat 1, Racal 0.

Quarter Scores:

21-26, 57-47, 87-74, 108-95.

Will Chemistry Enable Magnolia to Challenge SMB’s Supremacy?

A Wheeler’s Opinion: The Hotshots’ intact core MIGHT help them get back to the Finals. MIGHT

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

If you have been watching the PBA over the course of the last few seasons, then you knew how the Magnolia Hotshots, formerly known as the Purefoods Star Hotshots, from a championship-contending team to a semifinal-consistent team especially during the 42nd season of the PBA. While there’s nothing wrong with consistently making into the semifinal round, when your team hasn’t moved on onto the next round for a very long, long time, then something is wrong with your team.
Then, came along the blockbuster trade that sent Paul Lee to the Hotshots in exchange for James Yap who was sent to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Statistically, the Hotshots would have benefited from that deal considering the fact that James Yap is slowly entering the last few years of his career and has been down for some time now due to injuries. Paul Lee, on the other hand, has a decent first season with the Hotshots only to end it with an injury that forced him to miss the rest of the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup where the Hotshots were swept by the Meralco Bolts.
Heading into their first game tomorrow against the Alaska Aces, Head Coach Chito Victolero is facing a big problem: Jio Jalalon, Rafi Reavis and Paul Lee are still recovering from their respective injuries while the team’s energetic bunny, Marc Pingris is still resting from the surgery which removed his kidney stones a few days back. The coach has already said that he has no choice but to play with the current team that he will have come tomorrow.
However, Victolero is also hopeful that the chemistry that his team has established last season will enable them to at least, challenge the supremacy of the San Miguel Beermen. in the Philippine Cup.

Question: will a good chemistry be enough to bring the Hotshots to the promised land?

Possibly. After all, some of these players were already together when Tim Cone led them to a Grand Slam when they were still known as the San Mig Coffee Mixers a few years ago, remember? The arrival of Jio Jalalon and Paul Lee to the team have added youth and speed to the team. So what’s preventing the Hotshots from booking a return trip to the Finals? Inconsistency on both ends of the court. 

Conclusion

Maybe a name change will help ignite the Hotshots who are still undermanned as we speak. But who knows? Chito Victolero might have something hiding under his sleeves. Will they beat the Aces tomorrow? Possibly. Challenge the Beermen? That’s a different story for another time. 

Balls-Eye: Paul Lee and James Yap Shall be Back from their Previous Teams

Switching the Leethal Weapon and the Man with a Million Moves to each other’s team turned these two superstars into mere white dwarfs. 

Jamed Yap and Paul Lee

Even former Coach of Rain or Shine Yeng Guiao said: “I feel sad about it, that’s for sure”. It is understandable on the part of Coach Yeng because as we all know him, he is very serious when it comes to basketball, not even smiling at the court. A very strict and hard talent cultivator so it will surely break his heart to see his team go down just because he left them.
When this huge trade became real, we saw its adverse effects. Both the Star Hotshots and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters consistently make it to the top stages of the league especially Rain or Shine which frequently reaches the Finals but always lose against SMB. 
Nevertheless, both of this teams are powerhouses that give everyone in the league a hard path in reaching the championship. But right now, both of these teams are slowly loosening their grip, becoming underdogs against other teams that used to be their match.
Both these guys are the crowd’s favorite when they were on the team but it became different when they are at each other’s camp.

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Years ago, James Yap as part of the ‘San Mig Coffee Mixers’ said that “Masarap kalaban ang Ginebra e kasi pag natatalo sila madami iiyak”. The fire of Manila Classico weakened as James yap left the team which Ginebra Fans are rooting for all the time. The hype of the longest standing rivalry is dying. The PBA tradition of this classic clash is fading out.

Conclusion

Their skills could’ve remained the same but it’s their effectiveness that was left at loss. No individual skill can overpower a perfect blend of teamwork and leadership built up by experience and friendship.
Bring back these guys to where they came from and let them be back in the tight clash, the powerhouse pool with the Beermen, Ginebra, TNT and Bolts. We do not want such talents to be wasted. They aren’t getting any younger so we have to make the most out of what they can do now and the remaining years of their ultimate careers.

Balls-Eye: Who’s your MVP this PBA Season?

JunMar Fajardo on a Press Conference after being awarded as the MVP

Every year, more and more players are added to the league, rookies are explosive and veterans’ improvement are seemingly infinite. With this ever widening pool of potential athletes in the Philippine Basketball Association, let us try to narrow down and predict the possible MVP Awardees so here we go.
Let us scratch out the current MVP JunMar Fajardo in the list because of course he is an automatic candidate for everyone watching the PBA but let us include his potential rivals under the rim. We have Gregzilla, Greg Slaughter.

1 – Greg Slaughter

Greg Slaughter is by far Fajardo’s biggest foe in the shaded area. Slaughter has the strength, skill and of course the size to go head-to-head against Fajardo and thus give him a hard time from scoring easy baskets underneath.

2 – Terrence Romeo

If the trade rumor is real, then Terrence Romeo will have the chance to be deployed with a stronger team that may get to the finals or even give him his 1st championship. Romeo always is an MVP material but it’s the Batang Pier’s lack of success that’s holding him back to reach this ever delighted achievement.

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3 – Scottie Thompson

A pointguard who shines with rebounds? It is kinda extraordinary. Scottie Thompson does not just get the arbitrarty rebounds but also significant offensive and defensive boards for his team and not just that, he can penetrate, shoot from the outside and dish out assists. Scottie is a full-package player.

4 – Paul Lee

Who does not know the Leethal Weapon? A crossover artist. The league only has a few numbers which can handle the ball well and perform ankle breaking crossovers. Such players are of course Paul Lee, Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle. With the possession of this considered to be extraordinary talent, Paul Lee is a very dangerous guard who can drive pass or drag you down with his killer crossovers for easy plays.

5 – Cliff Hodge

If there’s a hustle man for the Meralco Bolts, then it is nobody but Cliff Hodge. With extra efforts in rebounding, Hodge always provides the Bolts with an extra push towards victory.
These 5 exceptional athletes are all potential MVP’s but the possibilities aren’t limited to these guys. Who knows what awaits all of us this coming season? We are all here to watch whatever action they’ll give. It’s just great to watch every game while keeping an eye on some potentials and continuously evaluating their performance.

By the Numbers: 4 Things That Went Wrong for the Slumping Star

Because basically, everything did go wrong for the Hotshots

Here are the four main reasons to their demise however

Mark Barroca was the lone starter who scored in double figures. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
If you watched last night’s Game 2 of the best-of-5 semifinal series between the Meralco Bolts and the Star Hotshots, then you can just imagine how frustrated Chito Victolero is right now. 
To begin with, Victolero was already frustrated with how the referees handled the game which saw 21 fouls called against the Bolts and 18 against the Hotshots. The Bolts on the other hand, were able to regain their dominant selves as they continuously pounded in on the Hotshots’ struggles on both ends of the court as they are ONE win away from another Finals appearance after a 98-74 victory last night. 
With Game 3 happening tomorrow, with their season on the line, the Star Hotshots have a choice: Improve or, go on an early vacation.
To help you explain the frustrations of Chito Victolero and the rest of the Star coaching staff, this basketball pundit listed down the numbers that doomed the Hotshots against the league-leading Bolts:

0 – Zero Points for Star Guards

Let’s start with the simplest reason why Star lost last night. Paul Lee had 0 points. So was Jio Jalalon. So was PJ Simon. Lee, for one, only attempted one field goal that missed and was taken out of the game the rest of the way, playing for barely 4 minutes. Jalalon, another bench trooper who was supposed to be backing up Mark Barroca, went 0 of 6 in the field. The result: the Star Hotshots still have 0 WINS in this series.

1 – Only One from the Rainbow Country

Another reason why the Meralco Bolts were able to run away from the Hotshots early on was the fact that Star, as a team, only made ONE of their 8 three-point attempts in the first half. That player who made that lone long-distance bomb was the journeyman, Aldrich Ramos who finished with 8 points in 15 minutes of action. 
By endgame, the Hotshots finished with a horrible outing from beyond the arc, making 7 of their 24 shots from that area. In addition to this, only ONE starter managed to score in double figures and that starter was none other than Mark Barroca who led the Hotshots with 16 points. The result: Star is ONE loss away from another early vacation.

5 – Five Fast-break Points, Not too fast  

Unlike in the early stages of Game 1 when Star was able to run and score on the break, the Hotshots only scored 5 fast break points during the entire Game 2, another visible sign that they weren’t in sync all game long. In addition to this, Star’s defense allowed 5 Meralco players to score in double figures, led by Allen Durham, Jared Dillinger and Ranidel De Ocampo who all scored 18 points apiece. Baser Amer and Chris Newsome provided the spark in the backcourt with their 16 and 10 points respectively. 

9 – The horrible performance of Acox

One player who was visibly struggling in both games was none other than Star import, Kris Acox. In Game 2, Acox only managed 9 points on another 4 of 12 field goal shooting. If Star wants to extend this series into a Game 4, they will need Acox to escape that horrible shooting slump that he endured in the first two games of the series and score more because if not, Allen Durham will continue to “eat” Acox alive every time they slug it out in the court. 

Bolts Erase 17-Point Lead to Win Game 1

Meralco’s defense frustrated Star’s offense

Kris Acox was limited to 7 points in the game (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Two teams. Two different roads. One semi-final series. Both the Star Hotshots and the Meralco Bolts are also coming off different scenarios in their respective quarterfinal series. While Star only needed to win one game to get here, the Bolts on the hands were pushed to a deciding game but won, eventually. Coming into Game 1 of their best-of-5 semi-final series, a win here would enable the Bolts to get a good start with their aspiration to challenge for the championship, something they missed last season. For the Hotshots on the other hand, a victory against Norman Black and his team will bring them 2 more wins closer to the Finals, a place they haven’t been to in a long time.
They fell behind early in the first quarter where they missed 16 shots. But for the rest of the game, it was the defense of the Meralco Bolts and the efforts of Allen Durham helped the Bolts to a Game 1 victory after scoring a 72-66 victory in Binan, Laguna.
Coming off from their one-game finish of the NLEX Road Warriors, the Star Hotshots got off to a good start and scored 9 unanswered points and forced Norman Black into calling a timeout because his team was clanking every shot they took during the first 3 minutes of the game. In addition to their inability to score and defend on the other end, the Bolts were also turning the ball over as the lead went up 11-0 with under 7 minutes to play in the first quarter. A free throw from Cliff Hodge ended the drought for Meralco and Allen Durham finally scored the Bolts’ field goal in 12 attempts with under 5 minutes to go. Star sustained its scoring start as Jio Jalalon scored on a 3-point play to make 18-3. Marc Pingris added a fadeaway jumper to make it 20-3 with 2:54 remaining in the opening frame. The Hotshots held a 21-7 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Both teams began the second quarter by scoring on their first pairs of charities as Chris Newsome drained a trey to bring the gap down at 23-12 with 2 minutes into the quarter. The lead went down to 7 right after Jared Dillinger drained another three-pointer for Meralco as the Hotshots were able to answer back every Meralco basket. After both teams suffered a dry spell, Allen Durham scored on a lay-up to furthermore push the lead to 5 with under 4 minutes to play, this time forcing Chito Victolero to call for a timeout for Star. By the time halftime came along, the Hotshots were only leading by 4, at 36-32.
Paul Lee led the Hotshots with 9 points in the first half but only made 1 of his 4 attempts from downtown. Ian Sangalang added 7 points while import Kris Acox only managed 4 points.  Star only managed to make 34% of their attempts.
The Bolts were able to recover from their 2 of 18 field goal shooting as they were led by Allen Durham, Chris Newsome and Jared Dillinger who all scored 7 points apiece during the first 24 minutes of play.
Both teams started the 3rd quarter on a much slower pace owing to the fact that both teams struggled to find any consistent rhythm early on. Just when Star began to run away anew, the Bolts surged back to tie the score at 41 apiece with under 7 minutes to play.  Then, after drawing Kris Acox’s 4th personal foul, Baser Amer gave Meralco their first taste of the lead at 43-41 on Baser Amer’s free throws. The lead fell back to the hands of the Hotshots after an Ian Sangalang inside shot only to be answered by a basket by Durham to tie the score at 45 all. The rest of the third quarter became an up-and-down battle as Star, despite making one of their 16 attempts from rainbow country, brought a 53-47 into the final quarter of play.
Marc Pingris opened the final quarter with a pair of charities as PJ Simon scored 4 consecutive points to give the Hotshots a 12-point advantage early on. Durham returned the favor by scoring 6 unanswered points to cut the lead back to 6 with 7:17 to play. Then, after a very miserable scoring drought from deep, Mark Barroca finally nailed Star’s second three-point attempt to put the Hotshots ahead by 11 with  5:23 remaining on the clock.Another Dillinger shot from beyond the arc dropped Star’s lead to 6 in the ensuing possessions.
Another Meralco trey, this time from Ranidel de Ocampo pushed the lead down to 66-63 approaching the final  2-minute mark as Star fumbled towards a risky turnover which led to another Dillinger trey to tie the score, again. Dillinger gave back the lead to Meralco, at 68-66 approaching the final minute as Mark Barroca air-balled a jumper on the previous possession. After forcing Paul Lee into a turnover, Allen Durham scored a difficult shot to increase Meralco’s lead to 4 with 33 ticks remaining. Then, Meralco forced another bad offensive possession for the Hotshots as Star refused to foul immediately after a Meralco inbound pass, allowing the Bolts to waste away before Star fouled eventually and Meralco drained the finishing free throws.
Allen Durham led Meralco’s impressive fight back with 23 points and 23 rebounds while Jared Dillinger scored 15 points to lead Norman Black’s men off the bench. Baser Amer contributed 10 points. Aside from limiting Star’s production from the outside, Meralco had more points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Hotshots 25-13 which allowed the Bolts to come out on top and take Game 1.
Jio Jalalon led Star with his 15 points including 9 of 9 shooting from the free throw line. Both Paul Lee and Mark Barroca scored 11 each as Kris Acox had to be disappointed with his 3 of 8 field goal shooting, only good for his 7 points. Although Star’s overall field goal percentage wasn’t far from what Meralco had, the former’s horribly forgettable outing from rainbow distance was what doomed them even though they had a 17-point lead in the first quarter.
Scores:
Meralco – 72
Durham 23, Dillinger 15, Amer 10, Newsome 7, Hodge 5, de Ocampo 5, Lanete 4, Hugnatan 3, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurita 0, Caram 0, Nabong 0, Faundo 0, Tolomia 0
Star – 66
Jalalon 15, Lee 11, Barroca 11, Sangalang 9, Acox 7, Simon 6, Pingris 4, Brondial 2, Reavis 1, Melton 0, Mendoza 0, Gamalinda 0, Ramos 0, dela Rosa 0, Abundo 0, Pascual 0
Quarter scoring:
7-21, 32-36, 47-53, 72-66

Acox Delivers the Goods as Star Hotshots Eliminates the Road Warriors to Move to the Semi-Finals

Hotshots barge into semifinals after eliminating NLEX

Paul Lee was the top scorer for the locals

Paul Lee scored 18 points for Star (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

For Yeng Guiao, coaching a team that has been tagged as a considerable underdog against a powerhouse team such as the Star Hotshots is no longer new to him as he already attained years’ worth of experience of coaching underdogs and still, winning. That’s how dangerous the NLEX Road Warriors are despite the absence of a consistent player who can produce big numbers every time. For the Hotshots of Chito Victolero, having the twice-to-beat advantage against the multi-titled Yeng Guiao is a false advantage because he knew as well as the rest of the Star team that NLEX has made significant improvements since Guiao took over at the helm.
Down 2 entering the fourth quarter, the Star Hotshots jumped out firing and took the lead away from the NLEX Road Warriors as they held a double-digit lead during the dying minutes of the game as the Hotshots prevailed, 89-77 to enter the semifinals where they will face the winner of the do-or-die game between the Meralco Bolts and the Blackwater Elite
The game began with both teams starting to find their respective rhythm as NLEX led at 23-22 after the first quarter with Kevin Alas led the scoring chores for the Road Warriors with 8 points. The run-and-gun battle carried over during the opening minutes of quarter number two as Paul Lee, Rafi Reavis, Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon all scored on different occasions to put Star up by 7 points, at 34-27 with 8:46 to go in the 2nd quarter. However, Star’s tendency to commit nonsense turnovers hindered their capability to ignite a significant scoring run throughout the first half as the Road Warriors were able to climb right back with timely three-pointers.

Juami Tiongson later scored on a lay-up to tie the score at 37 apiece with under 6 minutes to play and then import Aaron Fuller scored on an offensive rebound to give the lead back to NLEX at 39-37 as Chito Victolero signaled that he wanted a timeout with 4:36 to play in the quarter.

Then, the Hotshots went on a 7-0 scoring run that began on Aldrich Ramos’ 3-pointer that was followed by a dunk by Kris Acox and a running shot by PJ Simon to put Star up by, at 45-43 only to watch JR Quinahan tied it up again with 12 seconds remaining in the first half.

Both imports have failed to make their respective presence felt during the first half as Fuller and Acox scored 10 and 9 respectively. Despite having committed 14 turnovers in the first half alone, the Hotshots stayed close by making half of their 34 shot attempts in the first 24 minutes of the game. Another reason why Star remained in the game was their fastbreak points wich the Hotshots dominated at 8-2 in the first half For their part, the Road Warriors were able to stick around by scoring more off their missed points.
Both imports then started off the scoring for their respective teams to start the second half as Larry Fornacier drilled a trey to put NLEX by 3, 2 minutes into the 3rd quarter. NLEX later increased their lead to 7 on Fuller’s putback. Alex Mallari drained a 3-pointer a few possessions later to put the Road Warriors up by 8 points, at 63-55. However, NLEX’s inconsistency to sustain a scoring run doomed them as Hotshots went on a scoring run on their own to cut the lead down to 63-61 heading into the final quarter.
Star went on an 8-0 run to open the fourth quarter to snatch the lead 69-63 on Kris Acox’s acrobatic lay-up. Star later increased their lead to 8 and NLEX cut it down to 6 on multiple times only for Acox to score on another lay-up off a pass from Marc Pingris to put the Hotshots up by 8 with 7:07 remaining in the game, forcing Yeng Guiao to call a much-needed timeout. Aaron Fuller’s shot with under 6 minutes to go put down the lead at 75-71 only for Paul Lee to make 1 of 2 charities and Marc Pingris to score on a lucky bounce to increase the lead anew to 8 and Paul Lee added another lay-up to give Star its first double-digit lead of the game with under 4 minutes to spare. Paul Lee made another pair of free throws to sustain a 10-point lead for his team with 2:50 play, forcing NLEX to call another timeout.

That appeared to be the turning point as NLEX was plagued with turnovers and fouls as Paul Lee added another jumper to increase the lead to 14 under 2 minutes to go in the game.

Star Hotshots were led by import, Kris Acox who had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Paul Lee finally broke out of his scoring slump, adding 18 points while Ian Sangalang added 14 points. The Star as a team made 52% of their shot attempts as compared to the Road Warriors who only made 39% of their attempts during the entire game.
For the eliminated Road Warriors, Aaron Fuller finished his Governors’ Cup campaign with 16 points to lead his team while former Star player Alex Mallari added 15 points while Kevin Alas finished with 14 on 5 out of 9 shooting.
Scores:
Star – 89
Acox 21, Lee 18, Sangalang 14, Pingris 8, Jalalon 7, Simon 7, Brondial 5, Raamos 3, Barroca 2, Reavis 2, dela Rosa 2, Melton 0, Mendoza 0, Gamalinda 0, Abundo 0,  Pascual 0
NLEX – 77
Fuller 16, Mallari 15, Alas 14, Fornacier 9, Quinahan 6, Tiongson 5, Baguio 5, Rios 4, Al-Hussaini 3, Taulava 0, Monfort 0, Lastimosa 0, Villanueva 0, Soyud 0, Ighalo 0, Gotladera 0
Quarter scores:
22-23, 45-45, 61-63, 89-77

Star, Acox Recovered on Time to Beat NLEX, Potential Top 4 Finish If…

Star now assured of a Top 4 spot pending Meralco win

Acox recovered from early slump help Star win. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
If anything, this is one of the few conferences in the history of the PBA when the quotient system has been used to the fullest and since Ginebra lost last night against Talk N Text and Rain or Shine defeated Blackwater the game earlier, the Star Hotshots now have the opportunity to snatch a Top 4 finishing position entering the quarterfinals. They only needed to win against the NLEX Road Warriors by at least 5 points, and hope that the Meralco Bolts win against the San Miguel Beerman later on.
They fell behind early on. They came back. Their opponents battled back. By the end of the game, it was the Star Hotshots and their hot shooting from outside as they took control of their own fate by beating the NLEX Road Warriors, 100-93- a margin that the Star needed should the Beerman would win later on.
The NLEX Road Warriors of Coach Yeng Guiao wanted a shot of a Top 4 finish and the twice-to-beat advantage during the quarterfinals that comes with it and it showed earlier in the game as the Road Warriors, led by Aaron Fuller held an 8-point lead after the first quarter, at 25-17. And they did that by forcing the Star Hotshots into difficult shots and even into making silly turnovers. They even held Star scoreless for the almost 5 minutes to start the 2nd quarter before Mark Barroca ended the drought with a jumper. A trey by Kevin Alas later pushed the lead to 15 points only to be answered by Justin Melton who also drained a three-pointer of his own.

The teams went into halftime with NLEX only leading by 8 points. NLEX held onto the lead for the majority of the first half after limiting the offensive output of Star’s import, Kristofer Acox who only had 2 points on 1 of 6 shooting.

Compared to his counterpart, Fuller already had 8 points of his own to go along with his 9 rebounds. But what doomed the Hotshots in the first half alone is their incapacity to make most of their shot attempts and to make things worse, Star, as a team, only made 1 of their 5 free throw attempts. One of the few things that kept Star in the game during the first half is their shooting from beyond the arc where they made 5 out of their 12 attempts as compared to the Road Warriors who only made 4 of their 15 attempts from downtown.

A 5-0 scoring run by Star brought the lead down to 44-41 to start the second half as NLEX committed careless mistakes to compliment their inability to make shots early in the 3rd.Acox then began to make his presence felt by forcing his way on the inside as Star slowly chipped away at the lead. Aldrich Ramos later drained a trey to tie the game at 51 apiece with under 8 minutes to go in the quarter. PJ Simon later followed that up by converting a 3-point play to give the lead back to Star for the first time since the early stages of the game.

Both teams went on to exchange of made baskets as NLEX managed to bring the backup to 6 only to watch Star erased that lead. The Hotshots took the lead in the dying minutes of the quarter and by the end of the 3rd, Star’s lead was up 75-69 after Jio Jalalon drained a long-distance trey to beat the 3rd quarter buzzer.

Juami Tiongson began the final quarter with a 3-pointer and a difficult lay-up only for Paul Lee to scored on a catch-and-shoot trey with under 10 minutes to go. NLEX struggled to make shots as the Hotshots pushed the lead to 8 points on Acox’s inside shot with 7 minutes to play.

From that point on, it’s an up-and-down battle as Star answered every basket that NLEX made until Justin Melton drained a three-pointer to bring the lead back to 8 with 5 minutes to spare in the game. Paul Lee put Star up by 12 after scoring on a well-contested lay-up with under 4 minutes to go on the clock. A few possessions later, Alex Mallari drained a much-needed three-point shot and a free throw to bring down the deficit to 8 until Mark Barroca nailed a jumper approaching the final 2-minute mark and followed by another jumper by Paul Lee to put the lead back to 12 with 1:30 to go. Star then blocked NLEX’s next attempt and that was it. Marc Pingris drained a jumper to pull the life out of the Road Warriors as Chito Victolero decided to sub out his import, knowing that they’ve already accomplished what they needed to accomplish.

PJ Simon led the Hotshots with 16 points while making both of his attempts from beyond the arc. Paul Lee ended a series of struggling games to finish the game with 15 points Acox recovered from his miserable first half to score 14 points. Mark Barroca provided the spark off the bench with 13 points- many of which were scored in the 4th quarter. On the other side of the fence, Aaron Fuller finished the eliminations with 16 points and 17 rebounds while Alex Mallari added 13 points.

Throughout the game, it was Star’s three-pointers that kept them within striking distance in the first half and it was also Star’s three-pointers that won the game for them as they combined for making 11 out of their 20 attempts from rainbow country.

Scores:
Star – 101
Simon 16, Lee 15, Acox 14, Ramos 14, Barroca 12, dela Rosa 8, Melton 6, Pingris 6, Sangalang 4, Jalalon 3, Brondial 2, Reavis 0, Mendoza 0, Abundo 0, Pascual 0, Gamalinda 0,
NLEX – 93
Fuller 16, Mallari 13, Fornacier 12, Alas 9, Al-Hussaini 9, Quinahan 9, Lastimosa 8, Tiongson 5, Taulava 5, Villanueva 3, Soyud 3, Baguio 1, Ighalo 0, Rios 0, Gotladera 0
Quarter Scores:
25-17, 44-36, 69-75, 17-25, 36-44, 75-69, 101-93 

Ping Enters 5000 Point Club, Helps Hotshots on Win

Star Keeps Kia Winless 

 Ping becomes the 85hth player to enter the 5,000 point club (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

For the Star Hotshots, it’s about regaining their momentum and warming up for the upcoming quarterfinals. For the Kia Picanto on the other hand, a win would be a perfect way to end a miserable campaign to the season ender 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup which saw them drop their first 10 games.
From making the extra passes to working on their inside game and even making more three-point shots, the Star Hotshots regained their composure and more importantly, won against the Kia Picanto via a which put the Hotshots led by import Kristofer Acox tied with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 6-4 in the standings. 
This is an important win for the Hotshots because they will be facing the NLEX Road Warriors this coming Sunday to close their schedule and should the Hotshots win that game, they can enter the quarterfinals as the 5th seeded team.
Just to give an idea of how good the Hotshots were during this game, they shot better both in their 2-point field goals and from beyond the arc. And the offense of Coach Chito Victolero was more balanced as well as their defense which frustrated Kia which only made 31% of their field goal attempts which made by as much as 29 during the first half alone. The passing game of the Hotshots was fluid. 
Star led during the entire game, holding a lead that never went down beyond 25 points and they did it despite Paul Lee struggling miserably in the field during the entire game, only scoring 2 points in the first half and 4 overall. Acox finished the game with 19 points while grabbing 15 rebounds.
Marc Pingris who energized the crowd with a dunk during the closing minutes of the 3rd quarter finished the game with 12 points, including another dunk at the closing seconds of the game to make him the newest member of the 5,000-point club. 
Jio Jalalon led the Star’s local scorers with 15 points and 7 assists. PJ Simon contributed 13 points off the bench while Ian Sangalang finished with 12.
On the other side, the players of Coach Chris Gavina couldn’t get anything going during the entire game. Geron Johnson for one, led all scorers with 27 points on a miserable 9 of 28 shooting. Only him and Nico Elorde who finished with 15 points are the starters of Kia who scored in double figures. Jackson Corpuz on the other hand, led Kia’s bench with 11 points and 9 rebounds while Eric Camson added 10 markers. As a team, Kia only made 31% of their field goals and got rebounded, 62-41.
Scores:
Star
Acox 19, Jalalon 15, Simon 13, Sangalang 12, Pingris 12, Melton 10, Barroca 10, Reavis 7, Ramos 7, dela Rosa 5, Mendoza 5, Lee 4, Abundo 3, Pascual 2, Brondial 2, Gamalinda 0
Kia
Johnson 27, Elorde 15, Corpuz 11, Camson 10, Celda 9, Yee 4, Deutchman 3, Nimes 2, Ballesteros 0, Revilla 0, Guverra 0, Caperal 0, Khobuntin 0, Jaime 0, Salva 0
Quarter scores:
32-24, 65-36, 91-60, 128-81

Rain or Shine overhauls team roster, parted ways with Guiao, Lee and Quiñahan.

After Yeng Guiao’s transfer from Rain or Shine to NLEX Road Warriors, the Rain or Shine management swiftly shuffled their team roster.

JR Quiñahan, one of the “extra rice” duo has found his way to the Globalport Batang Pier a few days after Guiao’s reported take over of the MVP franchise team NLEX. Quiñahan has been one of the inside and outside threat of Rain or Shine will now bring his arsenal to his new team Globalport that will be an additional offensive option for this ball club and will be an additional help on the Globalport’s frontline toughness. On the other hand Jay Washington who has been one of the perimeter threats of Globalport will now try to crack a spot in the first or second stringer to help out Romeo and Pringle.

Another developing story that was first reported by Spin.ph is the trade of the two All Star members James Yap and Paul Lee.Though it is not on the papers yet and we are yet to get a confirmation about it, this could be one of the biggest exchange of players in this season and the coming off season. James Yap has been one of the Star Hotshots weapon inside and outside of the paint and if this Star makes his way to Rain or Shine, he will be a good addition to their off guard line up together with Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood. Paul Lee as an exchange for Yap, if the trade has been confirmed will be joining RR Garcia and Barroca in the play maker lineup of the Star Hotshots. Being one of the dedliest shooter in the league with an excellent skill in transition play execution we will expect this franchise to be a complex run and gun with outside threat in the next season.

BREAKING: Star Hotshots’ James Yap traded for Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee

BREAKING: Star Hotshots' James Yap traded for Rain or Shine's Paul Lee

This might be the biggest deal of the year so far, Star Hotshots have dealt marquee player James Yap for Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee.

According to sources, the deal were hammered out after the Elasto Painters management failed to lock down Paul Lee to a three-year contract extension.

James Yap, 34, will be wearing another jersey for the first time in his entire pro career. The 2x PBA MVP played 11 seasons with the Purefoods franchise where he won 7 championships. He averaged 15.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.7 minutes per game in his tenure with the franchise. He and newly-acquired Jay Washington will provide some veteran presence for the Elasto Painters.

The Elasto Painters continue their massive overhaul of their roster after Coach Yeng Guiao left the team to coach the NLEX Road Warriors. Earlier this morning, J.R. Quinahan has been traded according to multiple reports and acquired Paul Lee on the same day.

Paul Lee, 27, will also be playing for his second team in the PBA. He played 5 seasons and won 2 championships with the the Elasto Painters. He averaged 13.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists with his former team.

The Star Hotshots are now loaded with talented guards composing of Justin Melton, Mark Barroca, P.J. Simon, R.R. Garcia, Alex Mallari and the newly acquired Paul Lee

Yap-Lee trade: Will Star and ROS benefit?

Yap and Lee trade: Will Star and ROS benefit?
A surprising news hit the online community as two former University of the East (UE) stars were being traded between the two ex-champion teams in the said league.
And it is between James Yap and Paul Lee.
Too many facebook subscribers have shared about this big news on the move done by the Star Hotshots and the Rain or Shine ElastoPainters.
Will both teams benefit from this trade?
As we all know, Yap, given the monicker “The Big Game”, had brought too many championships for the former Purefoods team since the departure of Alvin Patrimonio. 
Though they were both the big guns that a team should really have, the only difference is Yap is on the edge of his professional career while Lee is still on his way at the peak of his journey in the PBA.
Yap, 34, already had enough with the Hotshots, from his rookie year, championship days with coach Ryan Gregorio, and his grand slam moments with most winningest coach Tim Cone.
It was reported in July 2016 that Yap is planning to hang up his jersey already, but no exact details were given when he is about to finalize his retirement.
On the other hand, Lee’s stint with Rain or Shine gave him a big shot to make his name in the professional league, right after moving up to the PBA after his fast improvement in the UAAP, and despite his injury issues that he endured since college, he was able to provide enough strength for the ElastoPainters to be a consistent playoff contender in the league, which made his the team’s “Lee-thal Weapon”.
At age 27, Lee is still performing well, but there are times that he plays poorly, especially this Governor’s Cup wherein they failed to take a spot in the playoffs after their loss against the Eugene Phelps-led Phoenix squad.

And with this trade, it was reported earlier that Lee was “shocked” upon the decision of the ROS management to part ways with him, but still hopeful that he will be able to help the Hotshots team on rebuilding right after Tim Cone left the team after giving them a grand slam.

In the end, it will be a big adjustment for the Star because they still have a lot guards including RR Garcia, PJ Simon, Justin Melton, and Mark Barroca.
Hotshots head coach Jason Webb would really have to make a decision to make whether he will give up some of his guards, or he’ll provide a new strategy for the team to equally distribute minutes of play to his players.
And for James Yap, with his experience and skills, he could also provide spark for the ElastoPainters, yet he could mentor the younger members like Jericho Cruz,Maverick Ahanmisi, and Josan Nimes, especially in this time wherein coach Yeng Guiao surprisingly left the team and moved to the NLEX Road Warriors.
So if we’re going to look on the brighter side, both teams will benefit on the said trade that just happened earlier, it will just require a big adjustment for the both squads in order to make this trade an effective one.

Terrence Romeo Man on a Mission beats ROS! 33 Pts 5 Assists BEAST!

Terrence Romeo in Albay 8/27/2016
It is no doubt that Terrence Romeo is the best player to create a 3 point shot for himself. I understand that there are “better” shooters out there but man oh man he is very great in creating space to launch a mid range or a 3. If their team makes it to the semis I believe that Romeo should get the nod as the best player of the conference. Romeo never gave up and delivered when it mattered however it was Taha who sealed the game for them delivering clutch basket and a split from the Charity stripe. With this win Global Port improves to 3-4 tied with ROS.
Here is the game highlight from Albay courtesy of sports 5.
 Written by: Aldrin
Team Powcast


Living Without The Lee-thal Weapon

When Paul Lee was discovered to have a tear in his meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the reverberations of that injury was felt not just by his PBA team, the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters, but also by the Gilas national team.
Fortunately for Gilas, this injury will not have a major impact in their preparations for next year’s Olympic qualifiers. Unfortunately for the Elasto Painters, this injury will define their campaign in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup.
Here are the four aspects where the Elasto Painters will feel Lee’s absence:
Playmaking
Paul Lee is, in simple words, a playmaker. He makes good things happen, whether with good passing, strong drives to the rim, kick outs to open shooters, hitting open shots to keep the defenses honest, or controlling the tempo of the game to better suit the Rain Or Shine game plan.
He’s the focal point and engine of the Rain or Shine offense, which means that when Paul Lee is in the zone, he can almost singlehandedly destroy opposing defenses.
The fact that he can do it in so many ways, not just by scoring a ton, makes him especially hard to replace. Just consider his stats from last year’s PBA season: 15.5ppg, 4.5rpg, and 3.3 apg. Those are major numbers for someone who plays just 27 minutes a game.
Shooting
Paul Lee had always been known as a scorer, not so much as a pure shooter. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t shoot. In fact, Paul Lee has been more than capable from long distance, shooting an impressive 39% from three-point land. That puts him squarely in the top 10 among three-point marksmen in the league.
This is crucial in that defenders can’t afford to sag off Lee, in fear of him getting off an in-your-face three. And when defenders play Lee tight, the threat of him blowing by for an easy lay up becomes all too real.
Lee’s shooting ability also ensures that big men like JR Quinahan, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood have enough space in the painted area to operate in. With Lee’s defender unable to help pack the shaded lane, it becomes easier for the Painters big men to score up close.
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