JARED Dillinger is careful not to mess up with the chemistry build by Meralco throughout the PBA season as he slowly tries to make himself accustomed to the system of the Bolts, who reached the semifinals for the first time Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-4 Dillinger suited up in his first formal game with the Bolts in an 86-68 rout of Barako Bull during their quarterfinal playoffs at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Dillinger played for 10 minutes and scored two points and had three rebounds as he helped Meralco pull away from a tight 13-all count to a sizeable 30-18 lead from which the Energy Cola never recovered.
“I mean if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it. And I just want to help these guys and bring in my experience from Talk ‘N Text,” stressed the 29-year-old Dillinger, who grew his hair and beard long since figuring in a major car accident last summer that sidelined him for almost four months.
The big guard only had two practices with his new team since arriving a week ago from California.
“Coach (Ryan) Gregorio told me in the beginning that he’ll start me slow. So when I came in there, I just want to make sure to help the team in any way I can,” said the left-handed player.
The University of Hawaii alumnus said he’s happy with his new teammates and would be more than willing to bring in the experience he had while playing for Talk ‘N Text, the sister-team of Meralco.
As the semifinals beckon, Dillinger said he’ll continue to work on his conditioning in hopes of contributing to the Bolts’ bid for a first-ever Finals appearance since joining the league in 2010.
“I can still feel the need to get a little bit more time. But I’ll go back to the gym and keep working, find the rhythm,” he said.
Dillinger landed at Meralco during the break in between conferences following a three-team deal that involved Talk 'N Text and Barako Bull.
Under the terms, Talk 'N Text acquired Sean Anthony from Barako Bull in exchange for Dillinger, who in turn was packaged with veteran big man Don Allado and shipped to Meralco for Ronjay Buenafe and seldom-used Gilbert Bulawan.