Hurting Joe Devance just saved another Finals game for Ginebra
Paul Lintag on Feb 27, 2017 04:14 PM
For Game 2 of the Philippine Cup Finals, a hurting Joe Devance saved the Gin Kings from a 0-2 hole against two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer.
Joe Devance has saved two Finals games for Ginebra already.
The first came in the 2016 Governors' Cup when the veteran forward made the game-clinching jumper in Game 4 to save the Gin Kings from a 1-3 deficit. Ginebra ended up beating the Meralco Bolts, 4-2.
Sunday for Game 2 of the Philippine Cup Finals, Devance did it again, saving the Gin Kings from a 0-2 hole against two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer.
However, it almost didn't happen as Devance committed a crucial turnover with 18 seconds to go.
Devance was in charge of inbounding the basketball but his intended target, Scottie Thompson, slipped and the possession was saved by Ronal Tubid for the Beermen.
"I didn't anticipate Scottie was gonna trip. [I] felt so bad when that happened but we are always in the next play mentality," he said.
The next play came 15 seconds later as JDV managed to recover his own miss and score a putback as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
"The play was for LA [Tenorio] to come over me and get a player screen then I kick it out. If he's not open, then take the shot," Devance said, recalling the plan with 3.2 seconds to go.
"But with three seconds left, I told myself I'm just gonna catch it and take it myself and do something. I saw Arwind was kinda up on me, I got him side by side to up a tough shot. Im lucky enough to get my own rebound and tip it in," he added, talking about the crazy final play in regulation.
While Devance has played a crucial role for the Gin Kings. he's doing everything while nursing a foot injury. He's been getting regular shots of pain-killers in order to play meaninful minutes.
In fact, the Gin Kings brought a private doctoe all the wat to Lucena just to treat Devance.
"Joe was amazing. He had to play, he got a shot. We drove the doctor up in a private car to give shots to Joe so he can play and do it again at halftime," head coach Tim Cone said.
Despite the sacrifice, still, the 35-year-old, seven-time PBA champion insists he's doing okay.
"I'm fine. I'm perfect. I do whatever it takes, everybody knows that," Devance said.
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