Alapag, Uichico, Devance join Cone’s SEA Games coaching staff
MANILA, Philippines—National team head coach Tim Cone said Jong Uichico, Jimmy Alapag and injured forward Joe Devance will be part of his Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff for the Southeast Asian Games.
Cone welcomed the addition of the three whom he believes are going to provide invaluable contributions from the sidelines in the country’s bid for another SEA Games gold medal here less than three months from now.
“Jimmy Alapag and Jong Uichico are joining our staff. That’s the new news I guess. Jimmy’s joining because his knowledge of the ABL and the players, he knows these guys really well. He called and he asked if he could join and Alfrancis (Chua) approved him,” Cone said Saturday after Ginebra’s 103-101 loss to Phoenix in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
“I’ve known Jong for years and years we’re good buddies, but he’s basically the SBP appointee on the team. He knows the international games as well as anybody in the country and we still wanna make this a collaboration. We don’t wanna make this an SMC thing, we don’t wanna make this a Smart thing, we wanna make it a Gilas thing, a Pilipinas thing,” he added.
Alapag is currently the head coach of Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League. He steered Alab to an ABL title in 2018.
Uichico called the shots for the national team that won the gold in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Cone also offered high praise for Devance, whom he personally asked to be one of his assistant coaches.
“He’s injured and can’t play. So I asked him and said why don’t you just join us and help us out because he carries big respect from the players and he knows my system probably better than anybody including my assistant coach cause he’s been with me for like 10, 11 years,” said Cone.
Devance and Cone have been on the same team since 2008 at Alaska. The two have won nine championships together including a Grand Slam with the San Mig Coffee Mixers in 2014.
“He also knows how to impart knowledge. He’s a good teacher and he’s always the guy teaching his teammates in practice.”