Amid Twitter banter with JDV, Black urges Dillinger to let game do the talking
Jared Dillinger and Joe Devance have had colorful exchanges on Twitter. Jerome Ascano

MERALCO coach Norman Black is urging Jared Dillinger to just let his game do the talking this time as his veteran wingman matches up with pal Joe Devance and the rest of Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Governors’ Cup Finals rematch.

Dillinger started a Twitter war with the Gin Kings after the Bolts’ Commissioner’s Cup exit following their quarterfinals loss at the hands of TNT, which advanced to the semifinals against Ginebra, with the Bolts veteran posting: “Beat Ginebra. I can’t stand those guys.”

Devance replied: “Wow, we don’t feel too fond of you either, Jared!” before Sol Mercado and Greg Slaughter waded into the banter.

Dillinger has been motivated to face the Gin Kings after missing a chance to play against the league’s most popular team in the last edition of the finals of the season-ending conference when he was sidelined with a hamstring injury and relegated into a spectator helplessly watching Justin Brownlee hit that iconic shot in Game Six that broke the Bolts’ hearts.

Now, Dillinger is healthy and has a shot at the Gin Kings as the finals rematch gets going on Friday night in Lucena.

“Like I told JD earlier, no matter what you say, you still got to go out and play,” Black said. “What’s important is how you play, not what you say. That’s the way I always play the game, that’s the way I coach the game – just go out and suit up…let’s go out there and play against each other.”

Black clarified that it’s just a healthy online competition between pals.

“I don’t know how much of that is really serious or how much of that is playing around – they’re actually good friends,” Black said. “It’s a competition, and social media has changed everything in our world today.”

“You can actually speak out anytime you want and not really be responsible for what you say, so that’s just part of today’s world,” the American coach added.

So Black can understand if the two Filipino-American cagers keep on yakking.

“I can’t stop them from talking,” Black said. “I can tell them to tone it down a little bit. I can tell JD to tone it down.”

“But I expect the Ginebra fans will be booing him,” he added. “That’s okay. We’re used to getting booed by Ginebra fans anyway.”

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Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos