Joe Devance on Meralco: 'I don't want to say we hate each other, but we hate each other'
Joe Devance stood out in Ginebra's semis win over TNT, but looks to be even better in the finals against Meralco. Jerome Ascano

JARED Dillinger wished Meralco would meet Barangay Ginebra in a PBA Governors’ Cup finals rematch. After all, the veteran wingman missed their last meeting in the title series due to an injury.

He and the Bolts also fell short of setting up a playoffs rematch in the last Commissioner’s Cup semifinals after losing to TNT in the quarterfinals, prompting him to tweet for the Texters to “Beat Ginebra. I can’t stand those guys.”

And the feeling is mutual for Joe Devance.

“You know, I don't want to say we hate each other, but we hate each other,” Devance said after Ginebra’s semifinal series-clinching 115-105 win over TNT on Sunday night. “I mean, MVP, Mr. Ang, I mean it's just how it is.”

“If we thought this (semis series vs TNT) is gonna be a battle, this next series is going to be a battle,” he added. “We're full aware of the challenges that they're gonna present to us, see what happens.”

Dillinger’s wish was finally granted as the Gin Kings and Bolts meet in an anticipated finals rematch starting on Friday night in Lucena.

And Devance is looking forward to face his fellow Filipino-American in action – in a healthy competition.

“Yeah. I'm a heel, I'mma hit Dillinger, I'mma punch him right in the stomach,” Devance said, impersonating a pro wrestler.

“Nah, I'm just playing,” he was quick to add. “You know, it's all in good fun, good sportsmanship, you know it's competitiveness. You know we're just gonna come out and fight, whatever team wants it more is gonna get it.”

Devance is fighting his own battle – a hip injury he suffered in Game Three of  the Final Four, leaving him to play less than 17 minutes in the series clincher.

“But I'll be fine in the finals, I'll be okay,” Devance insisted. “I'll be ready (for Game One) for sure. Maybe I'll just do some treatment, rehab or stuff like that.”


Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos