WHILE Jared Dillinger is set to fight for the PBA Governors’ Cup title on the court, a close relative is fighting for her life outside of it.
The veteran Bolts wingman continues to dedicate his performance to his ailing grandmother as he gears up for Meralco’s finals rematch against Barangay Ginebra starting with Game One on Friday night.
“My grandma’s been on her deathbed for some time,” Dillinger bared during the press launch of the finals on Tuesday. “She’s fighting to stay alive just to watch these finals. This is really special for me. If we can get this championship, it will all be for her.”
Dillinger said he is in constant communication with his grandmother from his mother's side, Teresa, who is based in California.
“Mentally, I was struggling and we were talking every day and she didn't want me to fly there,” the Filipino-American cager related after the press conference. “She just wants me to focus on the season and you know, she promised me that as long as she has a single breath in her body, she's gonna make sure to watch me in the finals.”
“And that's what's really keeping me going and that's where my inspiration is coming from,” he added. “It's just really all for her and she's fighting for her dear life just to hear my voice and hear how I did and how I played and it all goes out to her.”
The 33-year-old Dillinger has been honoring her grandma with a vintage performance this conference. After averaging 8.7 points on 2.1 triples, 3.4 boards, and 1.3 assists in 26.2 minutes in the eliminations, Dillinger turned it up a notch in the playoffs where he has normed 14 points on 3.8 three-pointers, 3.4 boards, and 2.8 assists in 32.6 minutes in five games so far.
And the back-to-back PBA Press Corps Player of the Week awardee is eager to sustain his fine form in the title series.
“I wish we could start tomorrow so she could see it,” Dillinger said. “I don't want her to miss anything. God forbid, if she passes away at any time, I just want her to just see one game. It's emotional and it's all for her.”