GINEBRA coach Tim Cone admitted he should’ve just kept Joe Devance on the bench in Game One of the PBA Philippine Finals had he known San Miguel would just blow the Gin Kings out, 109-82, on Friday night.
Cone earlier thought about sitting the hurting Devance out in the first two games of the best-of-seven series to give his injured foot time to heal.
But to Devance’s prodding and the go-signal from the medical staff, Cone fielded the veteran 6-foot-7 utility man as a starter after again taking painkilling shots before tipoff.
His sacrifice however went for naught as the Gin Kings fell into a huge 23-point hole after the opener period and never recovered.
“In hindsight, yes, I wish I would’ve sat him down,” Cone admitted in a text message to SPIN.ph a day after the blowout loss. “But hindsight is always the best sight.”
“He wants to play and the doctors are giving him a go, so I can’t hold him back,” he added of the seven-time champion.
Devance finished with three points on 1-of-5 shooting, six boards, two assists, and one steal against two turnovers and three fouls in 17 minutes.
The versatile Filipino-American forward, who turned 35 last Sunday, looks to provide the same veteran presence for the Gin Kings in Game Two on Sunday in Lucena.