Devance struggles in return, but vows to be close to 100 percent in time for playoffs
Ginebra forward Joe Devance's season debut is spoiled by Meralco. Marlo Cueto

BOCAUE — Joe Devance admits he is still far from 100 percent, but is confident he will be closer to top form come the crucial stretch of the conference.

Back from a foot injury that had haunted him for most of last season, Devance got off to a bad start to the season, with Meralco scoring a big win on Sunday at the Philippine Arena that kept Ginebra from securing a quarterfinal spot in the PBA Philippine Cup.

“I feel alright. Just disappointed that we lost especially since it’s my first game back. It’s just the first step though, it’s a part of the process. Hopefully we can regroup and get the next game,” said Devance after playing nearly 18 minutes in his first game back since Game Seven of the PBA Governors Cup finals against the same squad last October.

Devance finished with four points, three rebounds and two assists.

“We shot ourselves in the foot and put ourselves in a bad position but hopefully we can get this next game and see where we land on the playoffs,” he added.

The Kings have over a week to recover before they take on Rain or Shine and Devance vows to work even harder to get close to top form.

“I’m okay. I still have quite a bit to go. Just trying to work hard every day. Hopefully when we make the playoffs, hopefully I’ll be a hundred percent or close to it,” said Devance.

The do-it-all veteran forward however rues their lack of execution in the endgame, allowing the Bolts to storm back from an eight point deficit early in the payoff period to steal the win in the end.

“I think we lost focus on execution and defense. When something like that happens, it just kinda boils down to execution and defense and that’s where we lost our focus. They came out, wanted it more than we did and that fourth quarter and that’s the ball game.”

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