Devance says now as good a time as any for Ginebra to live up to never-say-die reputation
Joe Devance paced Ginebra with 22 points despite playing with an injured left foot. Jerome Ascano

FACING a deeper hole now in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Barangay Ginebra remains unbowed.

Joe Devance still sees the door slightly open for a possible Kings comeback even in the aftermath of a 94-85 loss to the San Miguel Beermen to go down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It’s not going to be easy for sure, according to the 35-year-old veteran forward. But it has been done in the past – by Ginebra no less during the 1991 First Conference finals – and very much possible of happening again.

“We know how to play with our backs against the wall. And we just have to come out for Game Five,” said Devance, who shrugged off his hurting left foot to keep the Kings in Game Four by finishing with a game-high 22 points – his best ever output in a Ginebra uniform.

“We just got to take it game by game. Like I said before, it’s been done. So we can’t just come out here and put our heads down. I mean it’s not over. They still have one more game left. So we got to come out here and fight for it. We are never-say-die, so we’ve got to live up to that.”

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Devance played extended time of 32 minutes as he tried to carry the fight for the embattled Kings in the second half when they found themselves trailing by as many as 26 points (60-34)

The Kings whittled the deficit to just 92-85, but missed shots and costly turnovers kept them from tying the series.

For Devance though, Ginebra dug itself an early hole it found too tough to overcome.

“They just jumped on us too quick. Everybody on the whole team I think made a three. And they came out shooting the ball well,” he said of the two-time defending champion, which finished with a 48 percent shooting from the field (38 of 79), including 15 of 35 from three-point range.

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But as he maintained, everything is not lost for the league’s most popular ballclub.

“We have a tall hill to climb, and see if we can climb it. I have full confidence in this team that we can do it. It has been done before,” said the Fil-Am forward.

“We gonna have faith, we have to have faith in each other. And we’ll just keep on playing till the last second.”


Game Five is set on Sunday also at the Big Dome.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos