By REYNALD MAGALLON
After 16 fruitful years in the PBA, Ginebra forward Joe Devance has decided to hang up his sneakers and focus on his family.
The 40-year-old forward took to Instagram on Wednesday, June 1 to announce his retirement, ending a colorful career that saw him win a total of 12 championships under Alaska, Purefood and Ginebra franchises.
“I have made and built so many relationships within that time that will remain in my memories for a lifetime. All the battles That I went through with all of my brothers in my career have led me to this time. I’m sad to say that now is the time to call it a career,” Devance wrote.
“I gave the game of basketball my body, mind and soul everything I had. Now is the time to focus on my kids and family,” added the 6-foot-7 forward who entered the league in 2007 as the first overall pick of the then expansion team Welcoat Dragons (now Rain or Snine E-Painters).
In the amateur league, Devance suited up for Toyota-Otis for the defunct Philippine Basketball League.
It didn’t take too long for Devance to find his mark in the PBA as a trade that sent him to the Alaska franchise proved to be the start of an epic journey in the professional league.
He won a title with the Aces in 2010 before he landed on the Purefoods franchise where he won five more championships including the 2014 grand slam with the San Mig Coffee Mixers under coach Tim Cone.
Devance then joined Cone on Ginebra where he would spend the final years of his career and win six more titles.
“I want to thank all of the teams that I was a part of for believing in me. I want to thank all the coaches that helped guide me throughout my career. Want to thank my family for being so understanding and letting me do what I need to do to win. Most importantly I want to thank the wonderful fans of my beautiful country,” added Devance.
“Thank you for all of your support for all of the great times we had winning these championships! You guys are the best fans in the world and I please beg for you guys to still support the PBA.”