THE situation could have been urgent now for Barangay Ginebra that injured big man Joe Devance is being recalled for the playoff against Star in Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
Coach Tim Cone indicated the likely availability of the 34-year-old Fil-Am for the 7 p.m. encounter on Monday in a frantic move by the Kings to get back in a series which the Hotshots has managed to control so far.
Devance has been out of the playoffs since the team’s do-or-die encounter with the Alaska Aces in the quarterfinals after tearing the plantar fasciitis on his left foot.
But with Ginebra finding itself down 0-2 halfway through the best-of-seven series, Cone said the presence of the do-it-all big man is indeed, a welcome development for the embattled Kings.
“There’s a chance that Joe may finally play,” said Cone the day after the Kings absorbed a second straight loss, 91-89, against the streaking Hotshots.
“His presence could help us.”
But Cone admitted the Kings had been outplayed by the Hotshots down the stretch, stressing the former team which he led to a total of five championships, is proving to be the steadier team when the game is on the line.
“Bottom line is that Star has beaten us down the stretch,” he said. “In both games, they executed and got rebounds. We didn’t.”
For the record, Ginebra outrebounded Star in Game Two, 46-34, including 19-11 on the offensive end.
But the one that got away came in the final seven seconds when veteran Rafi Reavis rebounded a missed jumper by Paul Lee, which he later converted into two free throws that sealed the deal for Star, 91-87.
The Hotshots had won the first two games behind a 3.0 winning margin.