Minutes after helping Meralco complete a three-game sweep of Star to make it back to the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals for the second straight year, Jared Dillinger has one hope heading to the best-of-7 championship series—that of meeting Barangay Ginebra.
For the left-handed Fil-American, facing the Kings in the Finals will give him and the Bolts another shot at avenging their loss last season after import Ginebra Justin Brownlee dashed Meralco’s championship dreams with a buzzer-beating triple in Game 6.
Dillinger could only watch helplessly at the Meralco bench, having been out of commission since the semifinal series against TNT that season due to a pulled hamstring.
“If you’re gonna ask me, I hope we play Ginebra just because they beat us last year,” Dillinger said, shortly after Meralco outlasted Star in overtime, 81-78 to complete its three-game semifinal sweep.
“I didn’t get the chance to play last year. And now I’m healthy, I wouldn’t want it any other way to play those guys, get a chance for revenge against them.”
The 6-foot-4 Dillinger said should the Bolts indeed, face the Kings, he has no problems playing before a hostile crowd that favors Ginebra.
“I love it (boos from Ginebra fans). They love their team, they have their opinions. And I have my opinions,” he said.
“Of course, it’s gonna be so much fun. But I can’t wait, can’t wait. But until then, just sit back, enjoy the night.”
But Dillinger’s wish will just remain that way for the time being since Ginebra is currently engaged in a tight semifinal battle against TNT.
The Kings opened their series with a 121-94 demolition of the Katropa, before TNT returned the favor with a 103-96 win on Wednesday in Batangas City.
Game 3 is scheduled on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava