IT’S understandable of Joe Devance is making the most out of the opportunity playing in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup Finals for San Mig Coffee opposite Rain or Shine.
The 6-foot-7 Fil-American recalled how helplessly he was watching on the bench as the Mixers lost to the Elasto Painters during the 2012 Governors Cup title series owing to a knee injury.
“The last time we were in the Finals with them (Elasto Painters), I wasn’t able to play. But I’m thankful to playing in this one,” said Devance, who, incidentally, was the no. 1 overall pick of Welcoat (Rain or Shine’s old name) in the 2008 Draft.
But now that he’s playing, Devance is just happy being able to contribute to the Mixers’ cause especially after the team took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series following a close 93-90 win in Game Four Friday night.
Despite nursing a left ankle sprain, Devance managed to average 13.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in the series, where he obviously serves as the “X-factor” for San Mig as he also norms 34.5 minutes of play.
“I’m just reading the defense on what they (Elasto Painters) are giving me,” Devance told Spin.ph, stressing he uses his size to score on mismatches against his former team.
“I just see opening on stuffs like that and to me, it’s really no big deal. We’re just hitting big and tough shots playing together,” he added.
“Luckily, my shots were going in.”
Even after three straight wins in the series, Devance, who just turned 32 last Wednesday, said the Mixers haven’t accomplished anything yet except enhance their chances of winning the All-Filipino crown for the sixth time in franchise history.
"Being up 3-1 against these guys (Elasto Painters) mean nothing. I mean, they don’t quit.”
The former University of Texas in El Paso standout said closing out the series won’t be easy, considering Rain or Shine is expected to go down without a fight.
“Closing out the series is always the hardest game. We really just got to get some rest, and be ready for battle on our next game,” he said.