JOE Devance showed what champions are made off as he emerged a hero despite continuing to play with one good foot in Barangay Ginebra’s 124-118 overtime win over San Miguel Beer in Game Two that evened the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at one game apiece.
The veteran utility man again took pain-killing injections before tipoff and at halftime of the game, allowing him to suit up for a prolonged period, highlighted by his putback off his own miss at the regulation buzzer that sent the game into an extra session.
Moments after the hard-earned win, teammate Mark Caguioa posted a picture on Instagram of Devance doing his pre-game routine.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone disclosed that they even drove their doctor in Lucena just to attend to Devance, who finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, seven boards, two assists, two blocks, one steal, against only one turnover in 32 minutes.
“Joe was amazing,” Cone said. “He had to play, he got a shot…He's going through the same procedure that helped him play heavy minutes all the way to overtime. He was huge.”
“Those minutes that Joe (played), and just the resilience... everybody staying together and battling through,” the champion coach added.
The 35-year-old Devance insists he’s in top shape, although his condition has seemed to improve as he can now manage to take a seat when he takes a breather– unlike in previous games when he would just stand up behind the bench.
“I’m fine. I’m perfect,” the 10-year veteran said. “I do whatever it takes, everybody knows that.”
Just like what a true seven-time champion would say.