Jul 21, 2020

JDV gives Cone ultimate compliment for successful PBA career

JOE Devance need not look far in crediting one man for the superb career he has in the PBA.

The veteran big man mentioned his Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone as the one behind the success of his journey in Asia's first ever play-for-pay league.

The two had been almost inseparable from the time they worked together for the first time at Alaska in Devance's sophomore season.

"If it wasn't for him (Cone), I wouldn't have the wonderful career that I've have had," acknowledged Devance in the latest Kamustahan episode of the PBA.

"I'm truly thankful to being a part of the organization (PBA) and the great teams that I have been on."

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The 38-year-old Fil-Am from Honolulu, Hawaii was the no. 1 overall draft pick by Welcoat in 2007, but was traded by the team the following season to Alaska for Sol Mercado.

Being handled by the multi-titled Cone under Alaska is what Devance considered as the 'beginning of his (pro) career.'

"That's when me and coach Tim just built a relationship forged with blood, sweat, and tears," said JDV.

From Alaska, to San Mig Coffee, all the way to Barangay Ginebra, Devance and Cone won 10 championships together, including a grand slam in 2014 with the Purefoods franchise.

Just recently, Devance was even handpicked by Cone to become part of his coaching staff with Gilas Pilipinas during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games where the team won the gold in men's basketball.

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But behind the success is the underlying effort both did to make the partnership works.

A lot of people see me and coach Tim having a great relationship, the stuff that they see on tv," said Devance. "But it took us 11 years of being together of me being cussed out, like him being on me every day, him pushing me to the max.

"That's why we are where we are today." (RG)