MERALCO forward Jared Dillinger was quick to play down his altercation with Calvin Abueva of Alaska that marred the Bolts’ 74-65 win over the Aces in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup.
But while he stressed the minor scuffle was borne out of their desire to win the game, Dillinger was the latest to add his voice to accusations that Abueva is a flopper.
“Well, Calvin is known a little bit of a flopper here and there, but that’s part of his game,” said the bearded Fil-Am after he and Abueva were slapped with technicals during the fourth quarter incident for taunting and second motion.
The 6-foot-4 Dillinger ended up with a bloodied nose after being hit by an Abueva wayward elbow while both players landed hard at the baseline railing under Meralco’s goal with 10:09 left in the game.
Dillinger got up immediately and gave the 6-foot-1 Abueva a push before cooler heads intervened.
“The rift between me and Calvin, I fully understand. That’s two men going after the ball with emotions flying,” said Dillinger. “The game is on the line, but i have nothing against him (Abueva). I know he was going hard. I’m going hard, but sometimes, emotions overflow a little bit.”
But Abueva was quick to point out that it was Dillinger who lost his cool during the incident.
“Wala naman akong sinabi eh, siya (Dillinger) ang napikon,” Abueva told Spin.ph when asked about it.
Last season’s Rookie of the Year said he was simply trying to do his job in helping the Aces get the all-important win, especially since Alaska was down by 15 points at that point.
“Kailangan lang namin ibalik yung laro namin na nagpapanalo kami,” he added, while declining to comment about him being a flopper.
Dillinger obviously, had everything water under the bridge as the former University of Hawaii standout said the skirmish with Abueva was all part of the game, knowing that the two teams’ playoff hopes hung in the balance with a possible loss.
“Both teams knew the importance of this game, so both teams played it like it was a playoff game,” said the 29-year-old Dillinger.