Sans Slaughter, Devance steps up on defense in Game 1 win | Inquirer Sports

Sans Slaughter, Devance steps up on defense in Game 1 win

/ 11:03 PM March 05, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Without Greg Slaughter in the middle for Ginebra, Joe Devance had to defend Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga in the fourth quarter in Game 1 of their 2018 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals series on Monday.

“My focus is to just get stops,” Devance said after posting 15 points, four rebounds and five assists.

“Beau Belga had a pretty good game and I just had to lock in a little bit. Beau’s a great player — I give him a lot of credit from where he started to now, he’s progressed a lot, so I had to really focus a lot on my defense and just that’s it. One stop at a time and just play defense.”


Through his hard work, Devance was successful in his aim as he kept Belga in check while also getting things done on offense. He triggered the deciding 12-0 run for the Gin Kings midway through the period en route to an 88-80 victory.

He was such an active presence for Ginebra that even Belga’s attempt to save the ball out of bounds went to Devance, who made the crucial basket that gave the Kings an 84-75 advantage with 2:10 left.

“I mean, that was a smart play. It just kind of backfired that time. That was pretty crazy though,” he said.

Though the 36-year-old forward is slowly showing signs of his old form, he admitted that he still hasn’t fully recovered yet from his foot injury that sidelined him for the better part of the conference.


Devance may have been away from the action the last four months, but his desire to help the Gin Kings never waned on him.

“It put a pressure on me just because I’m kind of behind on everything,” he said. “I’ve been out for so long and then I get back and it’s already playoff time. So I try to put a little bit of pressure on myself to hurry up and get back and get 100-percent better. It’s a little hard, though. My knees are hurting a bit, but I just try to do whatever I can to help the team. Whatever it takes.”

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TAGS: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Joe Devance, PBA Philippine Cup

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