Jul 24, 2020

Nagging injury almost led Dillinger to retirement

JARED Dillinger admitted being on the verge of retiring from the PBA following his nagging bouts with injuries.

The veteran guard said the thought came to his mind as the injury bug constantly hound him in his final years with Meralco.

"I was injured so much and it was so frustrating not only to me but to the team, to management, everyone," said Dillinger.

"It was tough that it did go to my head about retiring because I just couldn't figure out how to get better."

The 6-foot-4 Fil-Am guard was constantly in and out of the Bolts' regular lineup in 2018 through the 2019 season due to a quad injury.

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He was actually not yet fully healed when Barangay Ginebra signed him just before the Commissioner's Cup last year.

But like the Kings, Dillinger has that 'never-say-die' spirit in him.

The 36-year-old Dillinger patiently worked on getting healthy and once fully recovered, coach Tim Cone slowly inserted him in the team's rotation.

The result had the native of Rapid City, South Dakota winning his sixth championship in the league after Barangay Ginebra regained the Governors' Cup title.

"It was kind of tough for me, like a lot. But every player kind of go through it," said Dillinger. "When you get injured, you just have a lot of time to yourself thinking about it. It just wears on you."

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The good thing though, is there was no 'quit' in Dillinger. And he's sure glad about making the right decision.

"I'm sure glad I didn't quit now. It's awesome," as the Barangay Ginebra guard said when he appeared in the Kamustahan episode of the PBA. (RG)