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    Misfiring Dillinger desperate to find form - and fast - as Meralco fights for dear life

    Oct 16, 2017
    Jared Dillinger knows he needs to find his range quickly and hopes the other Meralco locals will follow. Jerome Ascano

    JARED Dillinger knows he can make his grandmother prouder.

    Playing in honor of her ailing grandmother, Teresa, the Meralco wingman has put up a performance in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals against Ginebra that’s leaving much to be desired.

    After averaging 14 points on 3.8 three-pointers, 3.4 boards, and 2.8 assists in 32.6 minutes in five playoff games heading to the finals, Dillinger has normed just 5.5 points on 2-of-14 shooting from deep, five boards, and 2.5 assists in 34.5 minutes in Games One and Two - a sub-par showing that has factored heavily in the team falling into a 0-2 hole.

    “Just got to go back and look at the film,” the 33-year-old Dillinger said after their 86-76 Game Two loss. “Keep doing the same routine, you got to get some shots up, see the ball going a little bit but they have a good defensive game plan.

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    “It's hard to get off threes having long guys guarding me so when you got guys closing out, guy like Japeth it's hard to shoot over him sometimes, but it's no excuses,” he added.

    Defending the Gin Kings’ towering frontline is also taking its toll and affecting his shot, he admitted.

    “Yeah, it's tough,” said Dilinger, who contributed just five points on 1-of-7 shooting overall, two boards, four assists, and one steal in 39 minutes as a starter. “Those guys are 20 to 30 pounds heavier than me. Fourth quarter, I'm fighting but the legs are gone and it's hard to shoot when your legs are gone.

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    “But they're big boys over there, it's not like we don't know that to begin with,” he added. “It wears down on you especially when they post up on you like Joe and Brownlee. Jap had a good game too. It's tough, we got to adjust. We have to figure it out.”

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    And they must in order to provide do-it-all import Allen Durham some much-needed help, in the process staying alive in the best-of-seven series that shifts to Game Three on Wednesday night.

    “Some things need to happen,” Dillinger said. “I mean, aside from AD, no one's shooting that well – Del, me, Baser, Newsome, Cliff. Gotta make shots, that's it. We're not making ours and it's tough on AD.”

    And the pressure is definitely on.

    “Yeah, absolutely,” Dillinger admitted. "Down 0-2, yeah there's pressure. I mean, it's normal, right? It's normal to have pressure in the finals. But just keep staying positive, just got to focus, just one game at a time.

    “(But) we got to make something work, if we don't win this next game, it's pretty much over,” he added.

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    Jared Dillinger knows he needs to find his range quickly and hopes the other Meralco locals will follow. Jerome Ascano
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