Ginebra dedicates victory over San Miguel to grieving Joe Devance
Coach Tim Cone and the Kings help ease some of the pain being felt by Joe Devance. Jerome Ascano

BARANGAY Ginebra offered its 110-84 win over San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup to Joe Devance, who is mourning the death of his father and namesake.

“This win is dedicated to him,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. Devance is in Honolulu, Hawaii to oversee the funeral of his father, who passed away in the morning of the Gin Kings’ game against Tropang TNT last Wednesday.

“He was crying before the game and he didn’t really tell anybody what was going on,” Cone recounted. “But he was in the locker room and all of a sudden, he was breaking down.”

“I knew something was up,” he added. “I figured something must’ve happened in the US, because if it had happened here, he wouldn’t have showed up to the game.”

[See Ginebra overpowers full-strength San Miguel Beer to clinch quarterfinal berth]

Devance, who had six points and two rebounds in their loss to the Texters, told the bad news to teammate Sol Mercardo first.

“His wife told me because my father passed away suddenly about three years ago, so I really know what he's going through,” Mercado said. “She told me right away just to be able to talk to him and sympathize with him.” 

The Gin Kings’ win seemed to ease some pain away from Devance, who congratulated his team on their group chat.

“He talked to us right after the game,” Mercado said. “He's proud of us and he's doing better.”

[See Jayjay Helterbrand relishes short playing time as coach Tim Cone gives in to fans’ clamor]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos