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Despite "short notice", Lee delivers for Magnolia vs Alaska

Injured knee and all, Paul Lee delivered big-time for Magnolia.
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Coach Chito Victolero bared that Paul Lee was only practicing with Magnolia for three days or essentially just as the new season started following his recuperation from a meniscus tear that he aggravated during the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals versus Meralco.

But with Jio Jalalon sitting out due to an LCL injury and the team's season debut scheduled for the first midweek of the fiscal year, Lee had to suit up, and in his comeback game, he unleashed his "Lethal Weapon" self.

The combo guard dropped 30 points in just 14 shot attempts (making 11), and the Hotshots began their season with a romp over the Alaska Aces at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Wednesday night.

"Iba talaga yung puso ng bata. He wants to play and help the team," Victolero said after the win. "I'm very thankful to Paul."

Victolero, however, also cited some unsung heroes in Magnolia's win over Alaska.

"Everybody stepped up, especially Rome [Dela Rosa], Justin [Melton], Bam-Bam Gamalinda, Robbie Herndon, [and] PJ Simon," Victolero continued. "They know we're undermanned--napakarami naming injury. I'm very proud of these players, and I know they will step up every single game kung kailangan."

Gamalinda put up the most glaring statline, dropping 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Herndon came close to a double-double in his debut with nine points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno