This is the part of my blog wherein I bring back old articles because in some ways... we like to read about history.
I am still leaning towards the PBA’s vintage moments rather than the current product.
Anyway, I wrote this blog for my old site on May 31, 2019.
I saw the Spin. ph article that had Jared Dillinger allegedly moving to Ginebra.
At first, I thought it was odd… considering that Dillinger has been an MVP lifer dating back to his days in Liga Pilipinas. Dillinger is also the first player that TNT selected in the 2008 PBA Draft where they had numbers two, three, and four. Four turned out to be Rob Reyes but three ended up as Jayson Castro. The fact that TNT would want to select Dillinger first before The Blur signals his importance.
And then the swerve.
Jared Dillinger had reportedly signed with the Barangay Ginebra Kings as reported by Spin with interviews to Tim Cone as well as disgruntled Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo. Apparently, Dillinger, who is currently injured because of his quads, had a gentleman’s agreement with the Meralco Bolts. The team just acquired Raymond Almazan from Rain or Shine for two first-round picks and they want to put Dillinger on the sidelines to make room for Rakenrol.
In the Philippine Cup, the former Pampanga Buddy averaged 7.8ppg, 5.2rpg, and 1.2apg in five games. Last season was his lowest scoring year since moving from TNT to Meralco.
First of all, Ginebra did nothing wrong here. Through the years we have seen unrestricted free agents signing elsewhere. Trillo, as a matter of fact, was part of Alaska when San Miguel dropped Samigue Eman to unrestricted free agency and the Aces signed him up. This is also the same scenario the other MVP teams did when they transferred Mark Tallo from TNT to NLEX a season ago and just recently Ken Bono from Meralco to TNT. The Kings had the opportunity and it was given to them by Meralco.
And this leads me to Meralco.
Yes, it was a gentleman’s agreement but surely a guy like Dillinger shouldn’t be placed in that position. Why would you dangle a Gilas Pilipinas mainstay to a sea of sharks? Ginebra is part of the SMC – and they have the resources. If SMC was able to wrestle Jimmy Alapag from the MVP camp, then what more to Dillinger?
And simply put, maybe the gentleman’s agreement isn’t gentlemanly as one would perceive. Meralco wanted Dillinger on that spot but perhaps Dillinger didn't. If a guy like Dillinger is frustrated in his current role and he deserves a better spot, then even a max deal won’t be enough for him.
I guess the only bad thing about Dillinger’s decision is his retirement. As of this moment, he is already 35 years old and while there are players like Arwind Santos who can still play in the highest of levels despite their age, the same can’t be said with Dillinger. Dillinger’s quad injury is a recurring injury and it has bothered him for years. Despite his potential to become a star player, Dillinger is barely a 12ppg producer.
So I guess we’re going to see The Daredevil on the other side of the fence in case Meralco and Ginebra re-ignite their Governors’ Cup rivalry.