MANILA, Philippines – Jared Dillinger is relishing in the feeling of winning another PBA championship, but he already has his eyes set on the next one.
The versatile swingman won the 2019 PBA Governors Cup crown with Barangay Ginebra, though he played limited minutes for the Gin Kings. Playing in just 8 contests in the conference, he normed 2.1 points, 0.9 rebound, 0.3 assist per game.
This comes after Dillinger was picked up by Ginebra from free agency in May 2019, after spending the past six seasons with Meralco. The move came as a surprise, especially given Dillinger's role in the budding rivalry between the Gin Kings and the Bolts during the Governors' Cup.
But the transfer paid off for Dillinger, who won his sixth PBA title – and first since 2012 when he was still part of the Talk 'N Text franchise.
Moreover, the championship came at the expense of his former team, as the Gin Kings once again defeated the Bolts in the Governors' Cup finals, this time in five games.
"It feels pretty fantastic," Dillinger said Monday, as Ginebra celebrated its latest title triumph with its fans at Metrowalk.
Yet Dillinger is also aware that he did not play that big of a role in the Gin Kings' run to the crown. He was on the sidelines for months while recovering from a calf injury, and only made his Ginebra debut in November.
The veteran expressed his gratitude to Ginebra for their patience with him, saying: "I couldn't be more grateful to the coaching staff, to the management for being so patient with me, for allowing me to heal."
His experience has only made him more determined to be of greater help to the team moving forward.
"I can promise you guys this -- that through my blood, sweat, soul, I'm gonna work my butt off to help this team win another championship," he vowed, to the cheers of Ginebra fans.
For now, however, Ginebra coach Tim Cone wants Dillinger to take some time to himself and rest.
According to Cone, Dillinger had informed him that he wanted to meet with his shooting coach just a couple of days after Ginebra wrapped up their finals series, and the multi-titled mentor was quick to discourage him.
"I told him, 'Jared, you gotta sit down, stop working, and get fat.' Don't be afraid to gain three or four, five pounds. We can get that off you," said Cone.
"He wanted to go in, 'I'm gonna go meet with my shooting coach tomorrow.' You know?" he added. "I go, 'We just finished yesterday, you wanna go meet with your shooting coach and go out and get shots and stuff?' I said, 'Jared, you gotta slow down.'"
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