Guiao, NLEX brace for Paul Lee: ‘He’s the biggest problem’ | Inquirer Sports

Guiao, NLEX brace for Paul Lee: ‘He’s the biggest problem’

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 02:29 AM March 08, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netnlex

For countless times during their five-year run at Rain or Shine, Yeng Guiao had seen Paul Lee single-handedly take over games and make big shots after another down the stretch no matter if it’s just an elimination round game of the finals.

That’s why Guiao expects nothing less from Lee when NLEX and Magnolia meet in a best-of-seven semifinals series starting on Saturday.

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“I think, [our biggest problem] is controlling Paul. Easily, he can get a double-double with scoring and passing and there’s still rebounds,” Guiao said Wednesday night after steering NLEX to its first ever semifinals appearance.

Guiao knows Lee like the back of his hand. He drafted Lee as the second overall pick in the 2011 PBA Draft and guided him in his ascent to stardom.

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Lee was the Finals MVP of Rain or Shine’s last championship run in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup. Guiao transferred to NLEX the following season while Lee was traded to the Purefoods franchise a week later.

“But that’s why I think he’s the biggest problem because I know him that well. I know him that’s why we’re really going to have a problem with Paul.”

The 29-year-old Lee did cause a lot of trouble to the Road Warriors, who had no answers for the fiery guard during their lone encounter in the elimination round two months ago.

The former University of the East standout scored 21 points on 8-of-13 from the field, including 4-of-6 from downtown, and had three rebounds and four assists in only 24 minutes to lead the Hotshots to a 105-94 win.

Just like how he torched NLEX, Lee seems as if he’s impossible to stop when he’s in the zone.

But Road Warriors rookie Kiefer Ravena said their team shouldn’t see Lee as an unstoppable force. Otherwise, they’ll just end up letting him have his way.

“We can’t treat him like he’s invincible that we can’t stop him. We’ll have to find ways, we’ll make a game plan to make it easy for us. We’ll find a way. It’s not going to be easty and that’s just how it is,” said Ravena, who may just be as problematic for Magnolia as Lee is for NLEX after he exploded for a career-high 31 points in the loss to the Hotshots.

“We have to pick our poison with Paul. Magnolia is peaking especially after that momentum-changing win over GlobalPort so we have to really brace ourselves.”

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TAGS: 2018 Philippine Cup, Kiefer Ravena, Magnolia Hotshots, Paul Lee, PBA, Semifinals, Yeng Guiao
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