Devance vows to help Kings
THE drastic change in his career path in the Philippine Basketball Association has caught veteran forward Joe Devance by surprise, but he is ready to move forward.
After a four-team trade early this week that shipped him from Star to Barangay Ginebra, the versatile Devance admitted that he was shocked by the movement, but is now ready to adapt to be able to help his new team and his longtime coach Tim Cone, who he will be reunited with again for the third time in his career after their stints with Alaska and Star.
“I was shocked at first, but I just have to play basketball now and help Ginebra as much as I can,’’ said Devance.
The 6’6” point-forward has mixed feelings with the trade. He is excited to be reunited with Cone, but at the same time, sad he’ll be leaving his mates back in the Hotshots’ fray.
“It’s so nice to be able to play for Coach Tim (Cone) again, but it’s also so hard to leave the guys behind in Purefoods. I’ve been there in the last few years and we’ve been through a lot,’’ he said.
In that four-team trade, Devance was sent out to Ginebra, Barako Bull got Mac Baracael and Prince Caperal, Star took in Jake and Ronald Pascual in return and GlobalPort received veteran big man Dorian Pena.
“I thought they were just rumors initially, but then it happened. I have nothing to do with the trade. I’m just a player and I have no control over that,’’ he said.
Being a player that’s very familiar with Cone and his system, having played for the winningest coach for most of his career, Devance knows he will play a vital part in the Gin Kings’ bid to turn their fortunes around under the watch of the 18-time champion mentor.
“It’s going to be new faces, but the system of Coach Tim (Cone) stays the same. I’m very familiar with it, and I can help out in that aspect. I hope I can help the team succeed and do the best that I can. I know Coach Tim’s system more than anyone in the league and I guess it makes sense for me to be here,’’ said Devance, who is already attending the practices of Barangay Ginebra.
Meanwhile, in another trade, workhorse Sean Anthony will now join NLEX after being dealt away by Meralco in a three-team transaction which also involved Mahindra.
The Bolts, who were forced to unload Anthony since they were over the limit of five Filipino-Foreigners allowed per team, received Mahindra’s 2016 and 2017 second-round picks, while the Enforcers got NLEX’s 2016 and 2017 second-round picks, as well and sophomore guard Juneric Baloria.