San Mig Coffee fought from start to finish in Game 5, a characteristic the team lacked in Games 3 and 4, which allowed Rain or Shine to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal series.
But with the Mixers taking a 79-67 win in Game 5, the Elasto Painters’ series lead has been cut to 3-2.
“We just have to dig down deep and fight through it, then rest the next few days. This is do or die. We just need to go out and play, can’t look back and need to be full steam ahead,” Devance said after the game, where he led the Mixers with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in 37 minutes.
His front court partner, Marc Pingris fought with ferocity, adding a series-high 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one block in 44 minutes of play.
As the world welcomes the New Year two days from now, Devance said he and his teammates have no time to celebrate, knowing that failing to focus at this point could fatally affect their Finals aspirations.
“No time for vacation right now, it’s playoffs, i don’t want a vacation. I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to go to Boracay, Hong Kong or Singapore. I don’t to go nowhere. I want to stay right here in MOA (Arena) or Araneta (Coliseum) and get wins,” added the 6’7″ San Mig forward, who is ironically facing the team that selected him first overall in the 2007 PBA rookie draft.
The Mixers need two more wins to beat the Elasto Painters and barge back to the Finals after losing to the Elasto Painters in the season-ending Governors Cup championship series.
But those two wins won’t come easy since Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao they are determined to end the series in Game 6.