THERE’S a chance that Joe Devance can still suit up for Barangay Ginebra this PBA Governors’ Cup, after all.
The Gin Kings veteran utlity man has been scheduled this week to undergo a long-delayed surgery on his foot, an injury that has hobbled him since the Philippine Cup, that could take him out for at least a month.
But in the wake of news about the PBA moving the opening of the next season to December to give way to Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers, Gin Kings coach Tim Cone bared they are pondering if they can postpone the surgery until the end of the season-ending conference.
“We’re still debating on what to do with Joe,” Cone said. “Now that we have the long break between conferences coming up that we’ve heard, if that’s the case, then maybe we’ll see if Joe can fight his way through another conference and then (undergo the surgery).”
Devance, who recently returned from his US vacation, suited up sparingly for the Gin Kings in the 107-85 win over Star in their tune-up on Tuesday.
“He played a little bit today,” Cone said. “I didn’t want to overextend him.”
“But there’s a sense that maybe he might play through this conference and then wait ‘til the end to get his surgery for the all-Filipino,” he added. “But we haven’t decided that.”
“By the end of this week, we’ll know whether he’s going to actually do it or stay,” he added.
Devance’s potential presence as the Gin Kings’ defensive anchor will definitely bode well in their title defense in the Governors’ Cup as he teams up with fit-again Greg Slaughter down low.