Joe Devance's absence will be huge
Make no mistake about it, folks. Joe Devance is one of Coach Tim Cone's favorite players. Why?
Joe Devance has been one of the few PBA players who can effectively play any position and defend any position as well. That's what makes JDV unique. But more than anything else, ever since Joe Devance came over to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and reunite with Tim Cone, good things have started to come Ginebra's way.
Joe Devance has been a vital piece to Ginebra's back-to-back Governors' Cup championships- both against Allen Durham and the rest of the Meralco Bolts. In the 2017 edition of the Governors' Cup Finals which went to a Game 7, JDV has produced notably good numbers and came to the Gin Kings' rescue whenever they needed a basket or a defensive stop. His height and wingspan makes him a perfect complement to Ginebra's Twin Towers of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar. JDV has averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds during the closing conference of the 2016-2017 season.
However, with the upcoming Philippine Cup starting on December 17, there's one problem that may affect Ginebra's chances this conference especially if they want to challenge the San Miguel Beermen. According to Coach Tim Cone, Joe Devance has recently gone under the knife to remove a bunion in his left foot which has been bothering him during the past conferences. This surgery will require JDV out of basketball-related actions for the next 3 months.
How will this affect Ginebra?
For starters, Ginebra will lose one of its power forwards who can shoot and score threes. Additionally, someone from the bench of Tim Cone will need to double his effort to at least, cover that 12 points per game that they will be losing.
Fortunately, Ginebra will have Art Dela Cruz back as he has recovered from his injury. And, JDV's absence will enable Tim Cone to field rookie Jett Manuel, Ginebra's first-round pick in the PBA Draft.
One way or another, Ginebra will miss the services of Joe Devance once the season kicks off. But who knows? It might be a blessing in disguise. Who knows? JDV might come back as a better player eventually. For now, Ginebra will have to do with their current roster.