FREE agent Joe Devance has assured the legions of Ginebra fans that he’s not going anywhere even after attracting interest from Phoenix coach Louie Alas.
After Phoenix’ 102-95 victory over NLEX on Sunday, Alas bared he’s looking at the possibility of getting the services of the injured 6-7 forward who was relegated to the unrestricted free agent list by Ginebra.
“Sabi ko nga, we’re two, three personnel pa from contending with the elite. Ngayon nakuha ko isa pa lang, si Jason Perkins. Siguro baka sakaling may mga available diyan. Sana si Joe de Vance available. Unrestricted, di ba? Why not? Kailangan ko ng malaki eh,” Alas said.
But flattered as he was, Devance made it clear he was keen on staying put and keeping his end of the bargain in a ‘pre-arrangement’ with coach Tim Cone that was reported earlier by SPIN.ph.
“I’m still on the team, I don’t know what to say about that one. You caught me by surprise,” said Devance.
“Coach Louie is a great coach, though. I thrived under him in the PBL. Toyota Otis. I’m still friends with the Toyota group as well,” he added.
Devance said he totally understood why he was on the URA list.
“Me and coach Tim, we spoke. Everything’s okay with the understanding that we have. Me and coach Tim have a great relationship so, as well as the guys from the San Miguel management. I respect everything that they do and I mean it’s not really a big issue for me to be where I’m in. I’m fine, I’m happy,” the versatile forward continued.
“I told coach Tim, nobody’s gonna want a 35-year-old basketball player. You know, I don’t think any team is really interested,” he added smiling.
Having played under Cone for a long time, Devance doesn’t really see himself playing for any coach other than the two-time grand slam winner.
“I’ve been blessed to play pretty much my whole career with coach Tim. He’s taught me so much. It’s kind of hard for me to think of playing for any coach other than coach Tim. I don’t really see that,” he said.
As for his return, the Ginebra veteran said he can be ready in about a month from now – after earlier being assessed by Cone to be out for the rest of the Philippine Cup.
“It’s going good. I’ve got another week til I can do weights and really strengthening my leg. I’m coming along, I should be coming back February or mid-February so, I just got to lose some weight real quick.”