Joe and Jared swear nothing is personal, but this title rematch will be a physical series

October 12, 2017

IT may look personal to many, but it's actually more of a friendly banter that's been going on between close pals Joe Devance and Jared Dillinger heading into the PBA Governors Cup finals rematch pitting Barangay Ginebra against Meralco.

While there may be some meaning into those verbal exchanges the two had been saying to each other, at the end of the day, it's just really more between two competitive individuals who badly wanted to win it for their respective teams.

"I don't want to say its personal, but it's competitiveness. It's just something that we have been going on for now," said Devance, 35.

Dillinger, 33, replied, "Honestly, we want to keep this a Meralco versus Ginebra, coach Black versus coach Cone, AD vs. Brownlee."

"Yeah I like Joe, but now I don't. We'll try to keep it classy as much as we can."

The two began teasing each other on social media at the height of the Commissioner's Cup playoffs this year when Dillinger wished TnT Katropa good luck in its semi-finals series against the Kings, who the Meralco Fil-Am said he's not really fond of.

The posted tweet led to a series of exchange messages between the two basketball buddies - of course, all of them more for fun.

"It's nothing personal, you know me," said the Ginebra veteran. "We both just want to come out here, he just wanted his team to win, and I want my team to win. We're gonna battle, that's all it is.

Dillinger also looks everything in such perspective, but isn't discounting the possibility of the heat of the moment getting in the way of both teams, much more, between the two of them.

"Like I know it's all funny now, we're laughing. But at the heat of the moment during the game, money is on the line, legacy is on the line, championship is on the line, it's gonna be bad. I promise you, it's gonna be a great series," said JD, who wasn't around for the Bolts last year when they lost to the Kings in six games of the finals owing to a pulled hamstring.
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Devance agrees with his Meralco friend.

"It's not gonna be dirty or anything like that. It's gonna be a physical series," he stressed.

Added Dillinger, "better believe, this can be a war. Things are just getting exciting at this point."

Game One of the best-of-seven title series kicks off on Friday at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.