With Magnolia and NLEX locking the third and sixth seeds in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night due to their respective victories, they set up a best-of-three quarter finals date.
And it means another encounter for Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao and former mentee Hotshots star Paul Lee.
Even being the no. 3 seed, the 6-foot combo guard is not resting on his laurels, knowing the caliber of a squad held by Guiao.
“It’s going to be a good one. We all know Coach Yeng kung gaano ka-tough ‘yung team na hinahawakan niya especially in the playoffs,” said Lee on their playoff matchup with NLEX.
“Kumpleto rin ‘yung lineup nila, deep sila. Alam mo naman kung sinong ipasok ni Coach Yeng may gagawin talaga at magcocontribute talaga so we have to be ready for that.”
The two have been side-by-side for five years with the Rain or Shine franchise until the 2016 trade that shook Philippine basketball to the core.
Then-Star Hotshots and the Elasto Painters engaged in a trade that exchanged James Yap for Lee.
But even though six years have passed, the proud son of Tondo still cherishes games against his first coach in the PBA.
“Kahit na medyo matagal na ako sa liga, kasi pag nagperform ka ng maayos, maganda ‘yung nilaro mo I think I make him (Guiao) proud,” said Lee.
“Kahit papaano siya ‘yung nag-prep sa akin. Siya rin yung reason kung bakit ako naging Paul Lee ngayon. Credit talaga kay Coach Yeng sa buong career ko sa PBA,” he added.
And with another matchup coming up with stakes raised being it the quarterfinals, Lee hopes to make Guiao proud again, even if it means slaying the latter’s team NLEX.
Game One is scheduled on Sunday, July 24 at 4:30 pm at the Big Dome.