Lee shines brightest among PBA all-stars as Team Japeth prevails

Team Japeth, headed by Paul Lee (hoisting the trophy), emerges victorious over Team Scottie in the PBA All-Star Weekend.

It was one big weekend for veteran guard Paul Lee.

Two days after becoming the new 3-Point Shootout champion in the PBA All-Star Week, Lee emerged as the Most Valuable Player in the return of this annual spectacle and led Team Japeth to a thrilling 140-136 triumph over Team Scottie Sunday at the City of Passi Arena in Iloilo City.

The dead-shot guard from Magnolia knocked in 32 points in an impressive 7-of-13 shooting from the “four-point line,” typifying his brilliance all week.

The “four-point line” is an innovation adopted by the PBA in the return of this event, which was institutionalized in 1989.

Lee and his team not only won the All-Star Game in its return after four years, but also bested Team Scottie in the Dance Showdown.

In claiming the MVP and the 3-Point Shootout, Lee went home P60,000 richer, but he also became a part of the team that won P150,000 each for winning the All-Star Game and the Dance Showdown.

But more than the prize, it’s the bragging rights of becoming the biggest star and Lee shared it with his teammates from Team Japeth, which earlier floundered a 16-point lead, but recovered in time to repulse Team Scottie.

“I’m just happy to be a part of this success and that was made possible because of the fans. At least, we gave them a treat,” added Lee.

Head coach Tim Cone, who first coached the All-Star Game in 1992 when he led the South Team to an upset win over the Robert Jaworski-mentored North side, was thrilled to be back on the sidelines and shared it with the stars of the PBA.

“It’s great to be a part of it and the reason why the players were playing so well was because of the fans who were so receptive and the players felt that,” added Cone.

Jamie Malonzo and Roger Pogoy finished with 20 points apiece while Calvin Oftana and Chris Newsome contributed 16 each.

Kevin Alas paced Team Scottie with 35 points.

The scores:

Team Japeth (140) – Lee 32, Malonzo 20, Pogoy 20, Oftana 16, Newsome 16, Santos 8, Jalalon 8, Mamuyac 7, Pinto 6, Almazan 4, Gray 3, Cabagnot 0.

Team Scottie (136) – Alas 35, Perez 26, Standhardinger 22, Abueva 15, Bolick 14, Tolentino 7, Barroca 7, Pringle 4, Castro 4, Yap 2, Thompson 0, Lassiter 0.

Quarters: 37-28; 74-65; 100-104; 140-136.

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