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Coaching wasn’t really the last thing on Joe Devance’s mind, but he was understandably surprised when he learned that coach Tim Cone named him as one of his deputies for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in December.
“I was shocked when he asked me. At first I thought he was playing. But he was serious and it’s a great honor to be a part of something that means so much to the country,” he said.
Joe Devance will be getting his first coaching gig as an assistant to Tim Cone in the Southeast Asian Games. KC Cruz/ESPN5
“I’ve always wanted to represent the country. I just thought it would be as a player and not as a coach, but nonetheless it’s very exciting and I’m very honored to be a part of this team,” added Devance.
The surprise eventually settled down for the 37-year-old forward, who went to work for the first time with the pool on Thursday after missing the first practice. Although he thinks the preparations aren’t that different from his sessions with his mother team, Devance said this means a lot more.
“It was good. We didn’t go too hard. He doesn’t want to burn these guys out just because they have other engagements with their teams,” he said. “I said it was nothing different than what I do in Ginebra. I’m just doing it for Gilas — which I don’t want to say means more, but to do it for the country means a lot.”