Joe Devance downplays shoving incident with Renaldo Balkman

MANILA, Philippines – Championship duels are highly physical, and it means emotions will run high. 

That's how Barangay Ginebra's Joe Devance put things into perspective after he and San Miguel's Renaldo Balkman figured in a shoving incident in Game 4 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals on Friday, August 3.

The two players where heading into the locker room as the first half ended until Balkman twice pushed Devance.

They then engaged in a war of words before they were separated by players and security personnel. 

While it was a heated moment, the Gin Kings forward found nothing to worry about.

"I mean, he's an emotional guy. He's a great player. He went to the NBA, he's just very passionate," Devance told reporters of Balkman.

"We've been cool the whole time so I'm sure there's not going to be any hard feelings or anything like that. It's just a part of being in the finals. It's all good."

"Just a little pushing. You know, nothin'. There wasn't no punches thrown or anything like that."

This is not the first time Devance was involved in an intense scenario in the best-of-7 affair.

Late in Game 2, Devance and San Miguel's Chris Ross were at the center of a shouting match after they bumped into each other during a rebound play. 

They were both assessed technical fouls, leading to Ross' ejection. (READ: Ross on techs that led to ejection: 'I don't think I deserve them')

But unlike that 109-134 Game 2 loss, Devance had the last laugh this time as the Gin Kings cruised to a 130-100 Game 4 triumph to even the series at 2-all. 

He finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds and two assists and recorded a plus-minus of +35 in the win. 

"In a series, you can't get too high on your wins and too low on your losses. They came out and whooped our butts in Games 2 and 3," Devance said.

"We came back and made some adjustments, and you know it worked."

Devance and Ginebra look to make it two wins in a row in Game 5 on Sunday, August 5, at the Araneta Coliseum. Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

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.

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