JOE Devance was glad to make up for a miscue with his regulation buzzer-beating putback that dragged Game Two of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals to overtime on the way to a 124-118 victory for Ginebra over San Miguel Beer on Sunday night in Lucena.
Off a timeout with 20 seconds left and Ginebra trailing by one, the veteran Gin Kings utility man inbounded the leather then threw a chest pass that turned out to be a bad pass as Scottie Thompson, his intended recipient, tripped, allowing Ronald Tubid to go for the steal.
Tubid got fouled and split his charities, setting the stage for Devance’s heroics.
“I didn’t anticipate Scottie was gonna trip,” Devance said after the game. “If he didn’t trip, he would have gotten it. Felt so bad when that happened, but we are always in next-play mentality. That kind of sucked, but we still got the win so I’m thankful for that.”
The versatile 6-foot-7 cager delivered in a play that wasn’t designed for him, taking matters into his own hands with 3.2 seconds left and finishing with a tip-in off his own miss following Arwind Santos’ block.
“The play was for LA to come over me and get a player screen then I kick it out,” Devance recalled. “If he's not open, then take the shot. But with three seconds left, I told myself I’m just gonna catch it and take it myself and do something, shoot it. I saw Arwind was kinda up on me, I got him side by side to up a tough shot.”
“I’m lucky enough to get my own rebound and tip it in,” he added.
Apart from his overtime-sending shot, Devance was also proud of helping limit June Mar Fajardo to just 10 points on five shots before fouling out after just 26 minutes.
“I’m just focused on defense, put a body on June Mar. I’m just trying to contain him,” Devance said. “He's the best player in the league; I’m relying to my teammates to help me out.”
The seven-time champion capped his solid defensive play with two blocks in overtime – the first on Gabby Espinas and the second one on Chris Ross – that prevented the Beermen to complete the monumental comeback.