JARED Dillinger will be a game-time decision for Meralco as it takes on Rain or Shine in a crucial PBA Commissioner’s Cup game that would have a big say on both teams' bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Coach Norman Black said Dillinger’s condition would be assessed just before the 4:30 p.m. encounter at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, keeping his fingers crossed that he will be good to go for the Bolts’ final game of the eliminations.
Unknown to many, the big Fil-Am guard hurt his knee during the team’s Friday night game against TnT Katropa as he banged knees with import Josh Smith late in the third period.
The 34-year-old Dillinger never returned and the Bolts went on to lose the match, 91-85.
He went to have the knee checked up in the hospital shortly after the game.
Still, Dillinger was able to join the Bolts in their practice Saturday at the Meralco gym.
“He was okay today in practice,” stressed Black, who nonetheless, wants to play cautious to his key player by assessing his playing condition first just before the game.
Until hurting his knee, Dillinger was going great guns for the Bolts opposite the Katropa.
He had 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including two from the three-point region. He also had three rebounds and three assists.
The loss snapped Meralco’s four-game winning run and relegated the team to a tie at third place with TnT, both with 7-3 (win-loss) mark.
Significantly, it also hurt the Bolts’ bid for a top 2 finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs, leaving them with no choice but to go for a win against the Elasto Painters.
“We just need to win to still have a chance at the twice-to-beat advantage,” said Black.