Cone brings winning culture aside from Triangle offense to Ginebra

( - October 7, 2015 - 7:48pm

MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran forward Joe Devance said other than the system change, new Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is also trying to create a ‘winning culture’ within the team with just 10 days to go before the PBA kicks off its 41st season at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Cone has been holding practice for Ginebra since the last week of August, teaching the intricacies of his patented ‘triangle offense’ and constantly reminding the players to make defense their priority.

“We have a great team. And if we can put it all together, if we can just take the time to learn about each other, learn the system, enjoy the process, I think that’s gonna be key because we shouldn’t be thinking about our wins and our losses, that’s gonna come down the road, but we got to put the work day in and day out,” Devance told, moments after Ginebra fell to GlobalPort, 92-94 in their preseason match on Wednesday at the CCF gym in Pasig.

The Fil-Am forward, who was traded to Ginebra just more than a week ago, said winning this coming season is not the goal of the team at the moment, stressing the importance of getting better instead in practice.

“We had good glimpses today (against GlobalPort), but this team is new (in the triangle). I understand that coach Jeff (Cariaso) was running the triangle when he was here and yet, this is still a new system for the guys,” he said.

“Now, it’s about learning as a team with coach Tim and all of us in the same page. because if not, it’s (triangle offense) not gonna work. Getting into the same page, that’s what’s gonna take us to the next level,” added the top rookie pick in the 2008 PBA Draft.

The 6-foot-7 Devance, who averaged 10.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists with Star last season, reiterated that he has no intention of jacking up his stats with his new team.

Instead, his role as defined by Cone, is to serve as one of the Gin Kings’ leaders on the floor, considering that he understands the ‘triangle’ more than anyone else.

“It’s been the same thing, just leading the team and teaching them a little bit and kinda be coach on the court by helping the guys out wherever I can,” said the former stalwart from University Texas, El Paso, who won six PBA titles - one with Alaska in 2010 and five with Star during his four-year stint with the Purefoods franchise.

“I think my role on this team is just get my teammates better and that’s always been my role. I take a lot of pride in that. And I would like to say that I’m not worried about my stats or my minutes, but just my team getting better and winning championships, that’s the goal,” stressed Devance.

“We’ve got to get better as a team and those championships will come.”

Ginebra fans are hoping that the upcoming season would be a breakthrough year for the Gin Kings under Cone, who steered the Purefoods franchise to five PBA championships, including the rare grand slam in the 2014 season.

The Gin Kings' last PBA title came during the 2008 Fiesta Conference.

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