MANILA, Philippines – Joe Devance has been a crucial piece in Barangay Ginebra’s success in the past two years but the crowd darlings will not have the luxury of having him on board for most of the upcoming Philippine Cup.
The veteran forward has finally undergone a surgery on his foot, an injury that has been nagging him since the beginning of the previous PBA season, and will likely be out for two months.
Devance was supposed to have his surgery last July but delayed it until the end of the season.
“Joe’s going to be out until February, hopefully he’ll be back sometime in the All-Filipino, hopefully he’ll be back by playoff time but we’re not sure,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
With Devance’s absence, the reigning back-to-back Governors’ Cup champions is planning to tap the multi-faceted Art Dela Cruz, whom they acquired from a trade with Blackwater last August.
But if there is a problem Cone faces with fielding Dela Cruz, who suffered from an Achilles injury, it is figuring out what position he plays.
“I was making a joke earlier that he’s so versatile, we don’t know where to play him. We don’t know whether to play him as our point guard, or our off guard or our small forward or the power forward, he can do it all,” said Cone.
“We’re just trying to figure out which one he’s strong at. We can’t figure it out but I’m really pleased to have him, we think he’s going to make a big impact on our team.”
Ginebra will play its first game of the league’s 43rd season against Star Hotshots in another Manila Clasico clash on Christmas Day at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.