Days after Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel relegated veteran forward Joe Devance to the unrestricted free agent list, Phoenix Fuel Masters coach Louie Alas immediately expressed interest in acquiring the 35-year old, 8-time PBA champion.
“Of course, I’m serious on the possibility of getting him. Joe Devance is Joe Devance. Tatanungin ko sina Boss paano dapat gawin,” said the newly-appointed Phoenix head coach during an interview with InterAksyon.
Alas handled Devance when both were still part of Toyota Otis in the now-defunct PBL.
Tim Cone, the league’s winning-est bench tactician and Devance’s coach for all except one of his playing years in the PBA, has made it clear however that the 6’7″ forward is not going anywhere.
“Joe is happy where he is at. He has no reason to leave. We talked to him about it. We know he’s coming back six to eight weeks, hopefully,” stressed Cone.
Despite his current status as an unrestricted free agent, Cone said that the rights to Devance still belongs to the league’s most popular team.
“It’s been done before to other star players like Ryan Reyes, Kelly Williams and even Ranidel de Ocampo. Obviously, no one’s going to steal Ranidel from anybody and no one is going to steal Joe from us. It’s a loophole in the rules. It’s not illegal. It’s legal to do it, so we’re gonna do it,” Cone added.