Back on January 10, 2014, Jared Dillinger and Calvin Abueva got entangled which led to one of the worst altercations in recent PBA history. Four years to the day, Meralco and Alaska ended up being scheduled to face each other and it was only fitting that the two energetic forwards renewed their physical rivalry.
During their PBA Philippine Cup matchup Thursday night, a 103-98 win for the Aces, Abueva and Dillinger kept bumping into each other when they shared the floor but their meetings were limited as the two got into early foul trouble. Things finally boiled over in the third quarter when Abueva fouled Dillinger for an and-one opportunity.
On their way down, Dillinger wrapped his hands around Abueva and this did not go unnoticed by The Beast. After they fell, Abueva backed into Dillinger’s leg as the two were assessed with a technical foul each.
“Is that why I was getting so mad? Is that what it was?” asked Dillinger after he was told that it was the four-year anniversary of their altercation.
“I was so excited to guard Calvin today then I picked up so many fouls so fast,” he added. “He did a really good job of luring the refs into calling fouls. I wish they allowed us to play a little bit more.”
The Meralco forward then explained that he did not appreciate Abueva going for his leg especially since he’s had issues with his hamstring.
“He tried his normal Calvin antics by jumping on my leg so, of course, I’m going to freak out and start pointing and all that fake stuff that we do,” he said. “He did a good job. He kept my butt on the bench.”
Before Dillinger shot the bonus free throw, Abueva approached him which effectively diffused the situation.
“We have a respect for each other. We go hard and we hit each other but I respect him, he’s a good player,” Dillinger said. “He talked to me and said it was just a game. That’s just how we are. We’re going to go hard against each other.”
Dillinger’s season debut did not go as he would have wanted it to as he only scored 8 points in 22 foul-plagued minutes. Abueva, on the other end, also was in foul trouble early in the game but his benching in the entire second period allowed him to have a strong finish as he was named the Best Player of the Game with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists.
In the post-game interview, Abueva also added that he had no ill will against Dillinger.
“Wala lang yun, play physical lang kami, play hard,” The Beast stated. “Sinubukan lang namin yung isa’t isa na maglaro.”