Joe Devance keeping fingers crossed ailing foot won't require pain-killing shots again
Joe Devance is once again playing through the pain for Ginebra. Jerome Ascano

JOE Devance hopes his ailing foot won't get worse, especially with the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs set to get underway next week.

The 35-year-old veteran admitted he’s again playing through pain as the plantar fasciitis on his left foot has been acting up lately – the same injury that hobbled him during the Governors and Philippine Cups, respectively.

Devance plans to undergo X-ray on the foot to see what the doctors have to say.

“It’s a little frustration. But we’ll see what happens,” said the Fil-Am big man on Friday night shortly after Barangay Ginebra clinched the No. 1 seeding after a 94-80 win over Mahindra at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

So far, he’s not taking any shots to relieve the pain in the foot, unlike in the Governors Cup Finals and the playoffs of the recent all-Filipino conference.

“Bad memories,” he said of the experience. “Hopefully I wouldn’t do all those stuff again.”

“I hope I don’t need it. I’ll try my best not to, and play through the pain,” Devance added. “I hope the doctors would say something about my foot.”

[See Ginebra secures No. 1 seed after masterful win over Mahindra]

Aware his longtime player is hurting again, coach Tim Cone tried to limit the minutes on Devance, who finished with five points, two rebounds, and four assists.

Cone admitted Devance’s health is among the team’s top concerns going to the quarterfinals, where the twice-to-beat Kings are set to face either the Alaska Aces or the Globalport Batang Pier.

But with a bigger battle ahead, Devance is taking a never-say-die attitude as he sets aside the pain on his foot. Giving the Kings another shot at winning a championship is first and foremost in his mind.

“We earned it (No. 1 seed), but nothing’s guaranteed. So we have to come out focused on offense and defense and see what we can do,” he said.

“Hopefully we can make the finals again. Being number one seed doesn’t meaning anything. It gives us better chance but still it’s not a promise.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos