UNLIKE his coach Ryan Gregorio, Jared Dillinger appears more determined to let his beard grow until Meralco wins a breakthrough championship in the PBA.
The 6-foot-5 guard began to wear facial hair shortly upon returning to active duty during last season’s Governors Cup after figuring in a car mishap during the summer in his final months with Talk 'N Text.
He said the rugged look will stay until the Bolts finally become a champion in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
They Said It!
“ I have a chip on my shoulders... I have a lot to prove." - Meralco Bolts guard-foward Jared Dillinger
“That’s right, like what you’ve said, not until we win a championship,” he told Spin.ph.
Gregorio initially tinkered with the idea of letting his hair grow until he steers the Bolts to a maiden PBA championship, but only recently, changed his mind in the wake of the current struggles of Meralco in the PLDT myDSL-Philippine Cup.
But Dillinger, who turns 30 on January, said he’s sticking to his word.
The big guard, however, bared he’ll probably trim it once in a while as he tries not to end up looking like a hermit. “Maybe I’ll trim some of the split ends, but I’m keeping it.”
The new look, according to him, also has something to do with his daughter and in trying to prove himself after being dealt by Talk `N Text in a three-team trade that also involved Barako Bull.
“I guess just for the sake of my daughter and the championship, like I have a chip on my shoulders,” he said. “I have a lot to prove, and right now I’m more focused on the team, more focused on winning games, and that’s the thing that matters to me.”
He was also quick to admit he misses his former team Talk `N Text, but understands that trades are part of the business.
“I miss the guys over there, but this is business, and right now the focus is all on one game at a time here at Meralco. That’s the most important thing, how to get win, what can I do to help the team, and nothing else.”
Dillinger said he’s fully recovered from the injuries he suffered from the car accident he got involved in last April. No surgery was performed on him and he just rested and underwent rehabilitation to get back into playing shape again.
“But I’m not thinking about it (injuries) now, I’m thinking about more of the game, we’re struggling a little bit right now,” he said of the Bolts, who are currently on a three-game losing streak and near the bottom of the standings with a 3-6 (win-loss) slate.
Still, he believes the Bolts are not yet done with their campaign in the all-Filipino conference.
“All the guys need to stay together, watch out for each other’s back right there,” said Dillinger ahead of the Bolts' clash with league-leader Barangay Ginebra on Saturday.
“We have no break. We have to pick ourselves together, and sana, we make the most out of it.”