The PBA might have just witnessed a new rivalry after Barangay Ginebra and Meralco slugged it out in the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup finals for two straight years.
The Gin Kings won the championship in those two face-offs. Despite that, both teams still delivered an action-packed and entertaining series.
Meralco assistant coach Luigi Trillo said the Bolts-Gin Kings matchup have the ingredients of a rivalry that fans will be looking forward to in the years to come.
“The thing that you noticed is it’s a good rivalry because it’s both well-coached. I think when you go to a Game Seven and you don’t back down, you have to look for ways,” Trillo told InterAksyon.
“They lost Sol (Mercado) and they looked for ways, we lost Del (Ranidel De Ocampo) then we have to find ways. But one thing I’m excited about is the guy who struggled for us are the newer guys, so hopefully we need to go through this so the next time it happens. We’re better prepared.
Sometimes, they need to go through it. Baser (Amer) had to go through it, (Chris) Newsome had to go through it and you need to go through this process. You look at the years that we’ve been–two semis, two finals in three years– it’s really a good stepping stone for us.”
But Jared Dillinger doesn’t consider Meralco as rivals of Ginebra.
“I didn’t call it a rivalry, they beat us twice, ” he said. “Until we can actually win a championship against them, it’s not really rivalry. ”
But Dillinger is hoping the Bolts can build something from the two losses they had against Barangay Ginebra.
“We have great pieces. We do. We have solid group of veterans and young guys. We have a good team,” Dillinger said.
“We have to build on the culture. We have a great group of coaching staff and management is very supportive. It’s tough as we were on the edge, but it’s tough we lost again. Hopefully, we can continue to build.”