Paul Lee lost the ball on his way to the basket, but recovered in the nick of time, beating the buzzer with a driving shot as the Magnolia Timplados Hotshots pulled off a pulsating 96-95 win over a stunned Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in Game 2 of their best-of-five semifinal series on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
After receiving the inbound pass from Calvin Abueva with 5 seconds left, Lee extricated himself from the pesky defense of Ginebra import Justin Brownlee and drove straight to the basket, electing to pass to Abueva.
Lee fumbled his pass when Japeth Aguilar blocked his path, but immediately recovered the ball. In a split second, Lee hoisted his driving shot at the buzzer, lifting the Hotshots to the one-point win and levelling the series at 1-win apiece.
Lee finished the game with 24 points.
“Nag-concentrate lang ako sa tira ko. Hindi ko na inisip kung may time pa,” said Lee moments after his teammates celebrated by piling over him on the floor.
The Hotshots, with Nick Rackocevic making 23 points, bounced back from an 84-87 loss to Ginebra in Game 1.
Coach Chito Victolero said Lee’s miracle shot had left him speechless.
“Tulala ako. Buti na lang at bumagsak iyung tira niya,” said Victolero.
Brownlee fired 34 points for the Gin Kings, with his two freebies in the 1:52 giving the Gin Kings a 92-90 edge.
Stanley Pringle chipped in 17 points, including a step-back triple in final five seconds allowing Ginebra to keep the lead for the last time, 95-94.
Scottie Thompson had 12 points, with his layup at the buzzer of the third allowing Ginebra to hang on to a 78-73 spread.