Going to the Barangay turned out to be one of the best decisions Jared Dillinger has made, after all.
The veteran forward, who left Meralco and signed with Ginebra in the middle of the PBA season as an unrestricted free agent, finally struck gold as the Gin Kings beat the Bolts Friday evening to bag home the 2019 Governors’ Cup title.
Dillinger has finally seen himself on the winning end of the Ginebra-Meralco rivalry after suffering back-to-back losses with his former team in 2016 and 2017. The triumph gave him his sixth PBA championship as well.
“Obviously, it’s a good feeling,” said Dillinger moments after their 105-93 Game Five win at Mall of Asia Arena.
“This is my sixth championship. I haven’t had a chance to win a championship since my TNT days,” he added, as he won five rings with Talk ‘N’ Text.
“I’m enjoying this moment and embrace it, have as much fun as I can with it.”
But of course, there’s that bittersweet feeling for the 36-year-old since he won the chip at the expense of the Bolts.
“I had a lot of history there with the MVP Group and Meralco going against Ginebra. There’s a lot of memories and it’s surreal,” said Dillinger, TNT’s second overall pick in 2008 before being traded to sister team Meralco in 2013.
Still, Dillinger is elated to finally bask in glory again. But he and Ginebra would definitely want to win more soon.
“The team, we all talked and we want to keep the train going. We just don’t want to have one championship and that’s it,” he said. “We’re all happy. We got something special here and we’ll keep these guys together.
“We’ll celebrate tonight, but we’ll be back to work in a couple of weeks.”