NORMAN Black was quick to allay fears veteran guard Jared Dillinger will miss a big part of Meralco’s campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup due to another hamstring injury.
The 33-year-old Fil-Am sat out the Bolts’ game against San Miguel on Wednesday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo after complaining of some tightness in his hamstring.
The team went on to absorb a 103-97 defeat at the hands of the three-time reigning champions.
Fortunately, Dillinger suffered no muscle tear, unlike last year when he was forced to sit out several games in the all-Filipino conference.
“According to the doctor, there is no tear and there is no pull, so we’ll just wait until he feels more comfortable,” said Black.
Dillinger is the latest Meralco starter to go down with an injury after Ranidel de Ocampo and Cliff Hodge.
Concerned that JD could aggravate the injury, Black said the coaching staff deemed it best to sit him down against San Miguel.
“We felt it would be probably smart to let him sit out until he can loosen up his hamstring, because we don’t want him to pull it again and sit out for a long period of time,” stressed the champion coach.
Dillinger did play though for 34 minutes and finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Bolts’ 103-98 win over Blackwater in the team’s debut game this season.
Black admitted the absence of his veteran big guard hurt the Bolts’ in their loss against the Beermen, although he sees Dillinger returning to active duty when the team resumes its campaign against the Alaska Aces on January 10.
“He (JD) and Cliff Hodge could be back by then,” said the Meralco coach.