IT thrills Purefoods forward Joe Devance no end that he is one of the players being considered among the prospects for Gilas Pilipinas 3.0 under new coach Tab Baldwin.
The 6-foot-7 Devance was among those mentioned by national team assistant coach Jimmy Alapag as possible members of the national team along with Purefoods teammates Peter June Simon and Mark Barroca.
Turning 33 next month, Devance said it would be an honor playing for Gilas, considering that representing the country is the only thing he has yet to accomplish in his eight-year PBA career.
“It would be a great honor to be part of Gilas because I’ve never had the opportunity to become part of the national team before,” Devance told Spin.ph on Saturday.
The Fil-Am big man himself is surprised to be mentioned by Alapag as prospects for the next pool of players under Baldwin.
“I don’t know what Jimmy saw in me but maybe, it’s because I’m a big guy who can shoot from the outside,” he said.
“But if that’s what they (Gilas team) need, I’m gonna do all I can to help.”
The left-handed winngman said he’s had an opportunity to join the practices of the national team sometime in 2006 when Chot Reyes was still at the helm.
“I actually trained under coach Chot. I think that was in 2006 when the practice was held in Ateneo,” recalled the Devance.
He never made it to the national team, though.
Following the failed stint, the former University of Texas El Paso standout decided to join the PBA rookie draft, emerging as the top pick in 2008 by Welcoat (now Rain or Shine).
Devance said he has watched Gilas’ games since the team placed second behind champion Iran in the 2013 Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship held here.