Cone hails Mercado as 'best one-on-one defender'

Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ] - February 17, 2017

 Ginebra's Sol Mercado (L) defends Star's Paul Lee in Game 4 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN SportsMANILA, Philippines – The subpar production of Paul Lee is a major factor in the Star Hotshots' back-to-back losses to Barangay Ginebra in their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series.

The "Lee-thal Weapon" had 18 points in Star's 78-74 win in Game 1, and hit a crucial shot late to ensure their victory. He then scored 17 points in a 91-89 win in Game 2.

Lee has been held to single digits in their Game 3 and 4 losses, however. He had only seven points, making only three of 13 field goals, in a 73-62 loss last Monday, and nine points on 4-of-14 shooting during Wednesday's Game 4. To make matters worse, he turned the ball over six times in Game 4 after being careful with the ball in the first three games of the series.

For Ginebra coach Tim Cone, the man responsible for Lee's struggles is Sol Mercado. The veteran guard is one of the few players in the league who can keep up with Lee's shiftiness and speed, while also being stocky enough to hold up physically whenever Lee tries to go to the post.

"Sol did another yeoman's job on Paul Lee," Cone said after Ginebra's victory in Game 4 that tied the best-of-seven series at 2-2.
 
"Paul is such a dynamic player," added the coach. "But Sol is a real dynamic defender, too."

Read full story on ABS CBN News

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