SEVEN wins is the magic number for San Mig Super Coffee to achieve history by the end of the PBA’s 39th season.
But as far as forward Marc Pingris and Joe Devance are concerned, the thought of winning the coveted grand slam has been relegated to the background at the moment as the playoffs of the season-ending Governors Cup formally sets in on Tuesday.
“Sana makuha namin 'yung alam mo na 'yun (grand slam), pero huwag na lang daw muna isipin sabi nga ni coach (Tim Cone), kasi nakaka-pressure lang sa amin,” said Pingris ahead of the Mixers' match against fifth seed San Miguel Beer at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
As the fourth-seeded team, the Mixers entered the playoffs enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage over the Beermen. A victory would mean advancing to the semifinals outright for the eighth straight conference since the team won the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup championship behind Best Import Denzel Bowles.
Devance said it’s no secret the Mixers are gunning for a shot at history this conference.
But at the moment, facing the Beermen less than 24 hours after playing their last game in the eliminations, is the first order of business for the Mixers.
“That’s (grand slam) the ultimate goal. That’s the biggest picture, but right now, it’s just trying to prepare for the (quarterfinal) game as much as we can in less than 24 hours,” said the 6-foot-7 Devance, one of Cone’s prized veteran ball handlers under his complex triangle offense.
“The Grand Slam isn’t in our minds. Right now, it’s just winning one game.”
While the Beermen definitely pose a serious threat to the Mixers’ grand slam bid, Pingris said everybody in the team understands the importance of playing all-out, especially now that they are back in the playoffs.
“Kung sino naman 'yung ipapasok, willing kami maglaro at ibigay ang 100 percent niya kasi para naman sa team eh,” said the 6-foot-5 pride of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan.