WITH less than two seconds left before the third quarter buzzer sounded, Jared Dillinger threw up a Hail Mary from the three-point line of the other side of the court and saw his prayer answered as it banked its way in, leaving the Smart-Araneta Coliseum crowd in awe.
When you hit a shot that far, it seems you can do anything.
Dillinger believes the shot spelled a difference in Meralco blowing out Alaska, 86-70, on Monday night that forced a rubber match in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series.
“It definitely carried some momentum going into the fourth quarter,” the Bolts star wingman said. “At the start of the fourth, we hit a couple of shots and that kind of ballooned the score up.”
Dillinger had an inkling his shot would go in one he threw it.
“It’s funny because right when I let it go, it felt like I had a good chance, that’s why I stood there and looked at it the way I did,” he said. “Luckily it went in. That was a one-in-a-million shot.”
The heave was one of his four three-pointers that made up his team-high 17 points that helped the Bolts stay alive in the best-of-five series.
“It’s anybody’s game now,” Dillinger said. “Take out the Xs and Os and it’s all about hustle and effort at this point.”
Dillinger and the rest of the Bolts heeded coach Norman Black’s call to put up a better defensive effort after getting blown out by 20 points in Game Three.
“We took it as a challenge,” the lefty forward said. “We all wanted to make it a point that we would go all out there tonight and I think we did that.”
“From top to bottom, I think everyone went out there and gave it a hundred and fifty percent,” he added. “That’s all you can ask for.”