ANTIPOLO – Meralco couldn’t have ended its PBA Philippine Cup campaign worse than what transpired on Saturday when it suffered a 120-73 beating at the hands of Star.
Bolts skipper Jared Dillinger was simply ashamed of his team’s performance to end another trying all-Filipino conference.
“It's embarrassing,” Dillinger said. “Ending the conference like this, whether we're already out of the playoffs or not, is something that we cannot allow ourselves to come to the game and not be ready like that.”
“I understand that for Star, it's a do-or-die game for (the second seed), but we're professionals and we're getting paid to play basketball, so whether it's a non-bearing game or a do-or-die game, we have to play,” he added. “This is our livelihood, this is our job and it's unacceptable.”
Asked what went wrong, Dillinger felt the starting unit failed to match energy of their Hotshots’ counterparts at the onset.
“The starters who were out there, they didn't come out to play and that set the tone,” Dillinger said. “First five came in, didn't get anything out, maybe the effort was there but we all saw the game and what happened. And the second and third group fed off the energy of the first group and you can see what happened after that.”
Dillinger took part of the blame as he’s in that starting unit. In his second game back after recovering from a hamstring injury, the veteran wingman contributed just four points, three boards, one assist, one steal, and one block, against four turnovers in 16 minutes.
“That's something we need to be accountable for,” Dillinger said.
“But now is not the time to be pointing fingers,” he added. “It all starts with looking at yourself first. What did you do, what did you not do that could've helped the team get better? I think that's what we need to do.”