THE two-week break for Meralco is a welcome treat for Jared Dillinger as he tries to fully recover from a knee injury that hampered him in the team’s last two games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Although he suited up in the Bolts’ 106-99 overtime loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Sunday, the 34-year-old big guard was obviously bothered by the injury which he sustained in Meralco’s previous game against TnT Katropa.
“Good thing we’re off for two weeks,” said Dillinger as he walked with an obvious limp on the way out of the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Dillinger still played for 27 minutes as part of coach Norman Black’s starting unit, but was obviously hampered by the injury as he went 1-of-5 from the field to finish with three points, three rebounds, and two assists.
“I’m not 100 percent. The knee still bothers me,” said the Fil-Am guard from Rapid City, South Dakota.
"But I’ll be good.”
Dillinger bruised his knee following a collision with TnT import Joshua Smith in their game Friday night, which the Bolts lost, 91-85. The Meralco stalwart was actually one of the few bright spots for the Bolts during the game before he sustained the injury late in the third quarter, never to return again and finish with 12 points, including 5-of-11 field goal shooting, three rebounds, and three assists.
The Bolts lost back-to-back games to end their elimination round campaign with a 7-4 (win-loss) record and finish at no. 4 They still have a shot of finishing at no. 2 and enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage, though should they manage to forge a three-way tie with Alaska and TnT Katropa – both with 7-3 marks – due to a higher quotient, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.