MERALCO may have had Mahindra’s number in this PBA Governors’ Cup, but the Bolts don’t expect the Enforcer to just fold in their third meeting on Saturday in the quarterfinal matchup.
The Bolts nipped the Enforcer for the second straight game with a 104-99 decision in their playoff for fourth seed on Wednesday night and Jared Dillinger expects nothing less than the same hard-fought battle on Saturday.
“They were both close games so it wasn't like we were completely dominating them,” Dillinger said, noting they beat Mahindra by only three points in their elimination-round encounter. “It was really a tough game all the way to the end.”
“So for us, we hit the big shots, we get a couple of breaks, we end up on top, but it's still gonna be tough and we're not taking them for granted at all,” he added.
The Bolts grabbed the last twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals – thanks to a decisive 16-0 run in the third quarter that erased a 16-point deficit and turned it into a see-saw affair.
“We just knew we had to match their energy coming out (for the second half). That was one of our adjustments,” Dillinger said. “We were able to get some stops and run and hit a couple of shots and it just kind of snowballed from there.”
“It was good, but you can’t fall down by that many points and expect to win every game,” he was quick to add. “Statistically, that's not gonna happen too often.”
It was Dillinger’s timely shooting that put the Bolts in command for good as he scored 12 of his 22 points in the payoff period.
“I was able to hit a couple shots and got my confidence going and just kept shooting until the ball stopped coming to me,” the lefty playmaking forward said. “It's gonna be a tough game on Saturday so still long ways to go.”