Despite nipping Star in semis opener, Dillinger ‘tired of coming back from behind’

BIÑAN CITY, Philippines - It was a familiar scenario for the Meralco Bolts. Down by 9 with 3 minutes left, Meralco unloaded a game-clinching 15-0 run to defeat the Star Hotshots in Game 1 of their semifinals series on Sunday, October 1.

It was their third straight come-from-behind victory, usually seen as a testament to a team’s grit, but Meralco’s Jared Dillinger said he would prefer just a “normal win" for a change.

“I really don’t know what’s going on, we need to stop doing that. It’s just so hard to go back from behind and win. It’s just mentally and physically straining,” said Dillinger, who sparked the late rally with two treys and the go-ahead layup en route to a 72-66 win.

“A win is a win, but I’m tired of coming back from behind. Can we get a normal win for once?”

After committing a flagrant foul late in Blackwater’s 92-91 upset win against the Bolts in the quarterfinals, Dillinger has been a steady force down the stretch since. 

He scored 8 of his 15 points in the final quarter in Meralco’s comeback 104-96 win against the Elite last Thursday that sent them to the semis and dropped another 15 points against the Hotshots yesterday. 

“I’m just trying to do my part on the team. The coaching staff, all the guys have all the confidence to let me shoot so I’m just trying to stay in my lane.” 

Despite a chronic issue of lethargic starts, Dillinger is confident for the Bolts in the upcoming games. 

“As long as we talk out there, we’re gonna be okay. We’re the number one defensive team in the league for a reason,” Dillinger added. – 

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.