Despite playing sans injured teammate Greg Slaughter, Ginebra versatile forward Joe Devance is not too worried on the tall order to contain San Miguel giant June Mar Fajardo when they begin their semifinal series.
For the 2007 first round pick, as long as Ginebra keeps their solid team defense in play, Fajardo will have a hard time picking up his rhythm even without the presence of their own 7-footer.
“It’s okay, we know June Mar is a great player but we’re gonna rely on our team defense,” said Devance to FOX Sports as Ginebra continues their championship bid going on Monday.
On paper, ‘The Kraken’, who could win his third straight MVP plum this season, poses serious threat for Gin Kings as he averages 20.5 points and league-high 11.4 boards per game.
“It’s not gonna be June Mar vs. Japeth (Aguilar), or June Mar vs. whoever gonna be, it will be June Mar vs the whole of us,” he added.
Devance, however, is quick to point out that they won’t just exert defensive effort solely on Fajardo as he sees the whole San Miguel squad too tough to crack.
“They just don’t rely on June Mar now, they have Elijah Millsap right now, Chris Ross is playing great, I mean they’re whole team is great,” he shared. “We’re not just gonna focus on June Mar, it’s gonna be our team defense, same stuff.”
Aside from defense, the Fil-Am forward believes mental preparation will be key for the crowd darlings to get the better off the Governors’ Cup defending champions in their best-of-three duel.
“If we come everyday, even in the practice, that everyday is gonna be tough, it will have us ready mentally. If we could realize that every game is gonna be like this (close win against Alaska), I think we will be in good shape,” he closed. – By Jason Mercene