Devance shine as Ginebra downs Rain or Shine in Ga

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Barangay Ginebra took one step closer towards the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup after defeating Authentic Sami Vatanen Jersey Rain or Shine, 88-80, on Monday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Two days after engaging in a marathon contest that Ginebra won in triple overtime, the Gin Kings needed only 48 minutes to dismiss the Elasto Painters and gain a 1-0 lead in their best-of-3 quarterfinals series.

Joe Devance sparked Ginebra's breakaway midway through the fourth period, then scored a pair of crucial buckets in the final two minutes and 12 seconds to quash Rain or Shine's comeback attempt. Scottie Thompson was spectacular all game long, tallying 14 points, 16 rebounds, and seven assists.

"It wasn't a pretty game," acknowledged Ginebra coach Tim Cone after the game. "But the playoffs aren't pretty."

"We didn't have our Ginebra crowd Chris Tillman Authentic Jersey (tonight), so we had to grind it out today, find our own emotion, find our own grind. I thought the guys did a good job of grinding, making it into a defensive type of game, and taking care of possessions," he also said.

After engaging in a back-and-forth defensive battle last Friday, Ginebra and Rain or Shine again found themselves toe-to-toe on Monday, with the Gin Kings settling for a slim 68-64 lead at the end of three quarters.

The Elasto Painters trimmed the deficit to one point, 69-70, with 8:41 to go off a pull-up jumper by Gabe Norwood, and it appeared as though the game was headed to another cardiac finish.Devance, however, had other ideas. The veteran forward – playing in just his third game after coming back from a foot injury – drilled a triple and added a floater in transition to make it 75-69 with Authentic Lac Edwards Jersey 7:23 to go, and force Rain or Shine to sue for time.

But the brief break in action did nothing to cool down the Gin Kings. Instead, Japeth Aguilar converted a lay-up, then scored off a miss by LA Tenorio. Sol Mercado then knocked down a three-pointer of his own to cap a 12-0 Ginebra blast that gave them control of the game, 82-69, with 4:53 to go.

"Luckily, we had that stretch in the fourth quarter," said Cone. "And then we hung on."

The Elasto Painters came as close as seven points, 75-82, with 2:42 left. But Ginebra caught a big break when Beau Belga, in an attempt to save the ball from going out of bounds, fired it directly to Devance who responded by making an open Corey Knebel Jersey lay-up for an 84-75 count with 2:12 to go.

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