JARED Dillinger became the second Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup after helping the Meralco Bolts stay on top of the standings with an unblemished 4-0 record.
The left-handed Dillinger emerged as one of the most consistent players for the Bolts in the midseason conference after averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the team’s sweep of its two games this past week.
Meralco survived a gutsy all-Filipino Rain or Shine crew on Wednesday, 98-95, before nipping newcomer Phoenix, 90-89, four days later behind Dillinger’s three-pointer and rookie Chris Newsome’s clutch free throw down the stretch.
“We were one of the first teams to take the exit in the previous conference so we had time to build on our chemistry and get better,” Dillinger said after besting the likes of Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter, GlobalPort guard Terrence Romeo, along with Blackwater gunners Carlo Lastimosa and Reil Cervantes for the citation for the period covering February 16-21.
Dillinger said the Bolts practically “lived in the gym” during the conference break as they strived to bounce back in the import-flavored conference following an embarrassing 1-10 win-loss campaign during the Philippine Cup.
“It’s (Commissioner’s Cup) obviously different from the last conference,” shared the 32-year-old Meralco Fil-Am guard/forward. “If you come from a disappointing season, you have to reflect not only as a team but individually as well.”
After winning five league championships during his first five seasons as a pro with Talk ‘N Text, Dillinger was traded to sister team Meralco in June 2013. He has taken upon himself to lead the Meralco franchise, which has yet to win a PBA championship since joining the league in 2010.
“That’s great, we’re four-and-0, but then, we’ll throw that off come playoff time,” he said. “Definitely, it’s a process so we just need to keep building on these type of games.”
Meralco takes a week off before returning to action on Sunday against GlobalPort where the Bolts will be looking to match the best start in franchise history.