Cone, De­vance part­ner­ship looks to con­tinue suc­cess in PBA fi­nals

Business World - - WORLD SPORTS - Rey Joble

FOR many years, the part­ner­ship of Tim Cone and Joe De­vance has de­vel­oped many cham­pi­onships and the suc­cess of that tan­dem has been em­u­lated by many.

Seven times, the duo pro­duced seven cham­pi­onships and the 6- foot-7 Fil- Am vet­eran cager couldn’t be thank­ful enough. But what makes the part­ner­ship suc­cess­ful?

“I think it’s his open mind to de­velop me on how I will work to his sys­tem and on my part, I was open for him to teach me. He put me in so many dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions as far as be­ing on the court, as far as his po­si­tion. He has helped me so much in life. It’s one of those fa­ther-son type re­la­tion­ships to where it works. In­side and out­side the court. Just life. I think most coaches don’t re­ally get to their play­ers like that. He has reached me per­son­ally that way. That’s where me and him were hav­ing that great re­la­tion­ship,” Mr. De­vance told Busi­nessWorld.

Like an or­di­nary fa­ther-son re­la­tion­ship, not ev­ery­thing is sun­shine and rain­bow and De­vance ad­mit­ted that there were times he’ll be at the re­ceiv­ing end of Cone’s curs­ing each time things don’t work well be­tween them.

“It’s not all per­fect days. There were days he’s curs­ing me out, spit­ting on my face and those kind of stuff. I’m get­ting mad at him and he can see it on my face. But at the end of the day, me and him were go­ing on the same di­rec­tion. We’re on the same goal, we were just try­ing to win,” he added.

But the years of be­ing to­gether has cer­tainly made the bond stronger and De­vance is for­tu­nate to have played most of his PBA ca­reer un­der the win­ningest men­tor in the league.

“It’s funny be­cause I’ve seen his kids when they were like ba­bies. Now, they’re up to col­lege. That’s the type of re­la­tion­ship me and him have. Hon­estly, it’s re­ally a bless­ing for me pretty much of my ca­reer un­der Coach Tim,” he added.

“I don’t have any as­pi­ra­tions of be­ing a coach, but if I ever did, I would like to be­come an un­der­study of Coach Tim, for sure.”

In the sea­son- end­ing PBA Gov­er­nors’ Cup, Mr. De­vance’s num­ber was up. He’s av­er­ag­ing close to 13 points and five re­bounds per out­ing, but for the most ver­sa­tile player see­ing ac­tion in the league to­day, num­bers won’t mean any­thing un­til he makes his team­mates look bet­ter.

“I think my men­tal­ity is to make my team­mates bet­ter. If I make my team­mates bet­ter, I guess my num­bers will go up be­cause I’m so fo­cused on my team­mates. My men­tal­ity is al­ways, ‘ What am I gonna do to make my team­mates bet­ter?’ Any­thing after that is a pos­i­tive. As long as I can make my team­mates bet­ter and we’re win­ning, I could care less about my stats,” said Mr. De­vance.

Mr. De­vance and the de­fend­ing cham­pion Gin Kings are try­ing to win an­other ti­tle and the vet­eran cager is ready to win an­other one — an eighth ti­tle in part­ner­ship with Cone — if ever the fi­nals cam­paign against Mer­alco will be suc­cess­ful.

“I’m try­ing to win a cham­pi­onship. I’m ready to win an­other cham­pi­onship, but if we’re ready or not, that’s an­other dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sion, yeah but I’m def­i­nitely ready,” he added. —

BARANGAY GINE­BRA for­ward Joe De­vance is look­ing to win his eighth PBA ti­tle, all un­der head coach Tim Cone.

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