San Mig Coffee's Joe Devance (38) goes to the basket against Rain or Shine's Paul Lee (3). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Playing through injuries is nothing new for San Mig Coffee forward Joe Devance, who has no intentions of sitting out any game in the Coffee Mixers’ best-of-seven Finals series against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Devance, who has been dealing with a banged-up knee all throughout the Philippine Cup, had to leave Game 2 of the Finals after landing awkwardly when he went for a rebound.
But he later returned to the game and was instrumental in San Mig’s 80-70 victory.
“My ankle hurts because it’s a little sore, but it’s all right,” Devance told PBA.ph. “It’s not too bad. I can play through it, so it’s all good.”
The ankle injury was just the latest in a series of injuries that Devance has been enduring.
“My knee has been bothering me for the whole conference, and then in the semis, my right ankle got hurt. Now, it’s the left one,” he said. “But it won’t be a problem.”
“Once I get the feel of how they’re guarding me and what the referees are allowing, I’ll be better. Once I find my comfort zone, I’ll do a lot better so hopefully, I can find it in the next game,” he added.
Devance and the rest of the Mixers will take on the Elasto Painters tonight in the crucial Game 3 of the Finals, with the series currently tied at 1-1.
“We just feel like this team is evolving into a big game team,” San Mig head coach Tim Cone said of his squad. “I don’t think they’re tired of playing a best-of-three or a best-of-five, or even a Game 7.”
“We feel that the closer it gets to the end, the better chance we have because they’re used to playing big games, and we’ve been a lot in the past couple of years,” Cone added.
Devance agreed with his coach’s sentiment, saying: “We’re not tired at all. We’re locked in.”