PBA: On bad knees and feet, Joe Devance still stood tall against San Miguel

Philip Matel on Sep 24, 2018 08:49 AM
 On bad knees and feet, Devance still stood tall against SMB
If it weren't for the persistence of Joe Devance, Ginebra would have only Prince Caperal as their only big man. (FILE PHOTO)

If it weren't for the persistence of Joe Devance, Ginebra would have only Prince Caperal as their only big man.

The crowd darlings had a glaring shortage of centers and power forwards. Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, the famed Ginebra twin towers, were missing in action due to injury. Jervy Cruz was also not on the active list as he continues his recovery.

Palms sweating, knees weak, Joe Devance provided a huge spark for Ginebra. If it were not for his 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists, things might have gone differently for the defending champions.

Devance was not really going to play, but after Aguilar went down, he came at a crossroads.

"It was a few days ago, Japeth got hurt in practice. He got hurt so I was like, ‘Oh man we don’t have any bigs, it’s just Prince’ so I just tried in practice and see how I feel. I just told coach that if I can get through it, I’ll do whatever I can to get through it," the burly big man shared after the game.

Facing an equally-hobbled team in San Miguel, who were without four-time reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter, Devance stood in awe on how his team managed to score their fourth win of the conference.

"It feels good to get a win especially against San Miguel. I know they have some guys that are hurt too but, it’s pretty crazy how many injuries we have right now. I think it’s like six or seven or something like that. It’s pretty amazing with just the things we are able to do right now."

Despite not having a very positive assessment of his own knees -- which he said was 60 percent fine -- Devance maintained that he will do everything just to help the team, even at the expense of his own body.

At 36 years old, the number 1 pick of the 2007 PBA draft is nearing the twilight of his career, and just elects to savor every moment he can while he's playing.

"I don’t know if it’s my age or what it is but, I’m just trying to hang on and just keep up with these young guys, you know. I’m still having fun, it’s just when the pain is really bad, that’s when it gets tough."

"Now again, it’s kinda hard but I’m hoping I can get back to just at least playing a little bit better. But I’m just proud of the guys. It’s all about the guys stepping up and they have been."

 

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