JOE Devance has played in numerous playoff wars that taking big shots in a game is no longer new for him.
Aware that gunners James Yap and Peter June Simon are still not 100 percent, Devance turned from a mere role player and facilitator, to the chief offensive threat, on the way to leading San Mig Super Coffee to a 93-85 victory over Talk ’N Text last Saturday.
The win gave the Mixers a commanding 2-0 lead before the Texters made it 2-1 with a win in Game Three on Monday in their PBA Governors Cup semifinal series.
Devance banged in 15 of his 19 points in the first half of Game Two, helping the Mixers jump off to 20-point lead, enough cushion to help them fend off the Tropang Texters’ late-game rally.
Yap (toe) and Simon (back) played in Game Two, but both were obviously not 100 percent, giving Devance the opportunity to be more active on offense.
“I’m just trying to play hard, do whatever it takes to get the win. And thankfully, we won (Game Two),” said the 32-year-old Devance, who fired 19 points on eight-of-12 shooting to go along with three blocks and two rebounds.
Devance, the top overall rookie pick in the 2008 PBA draft, is averaging 14.0 points in the series, including an efficient 52.2 percent from the field on the way to earning his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period of June 16-22.
The 6-foot-7 former University of El Paso-Texas forward knows there’s still a lot of work ahead.
“We need one more (win) to close this series out. The team is playing great though offensively and defensively, I don’t want to take any credit for the game (Game Two),” he added.
“It’s the team playing well. I’m just doing my part.”