April 14, 2024

Jared Dillinger shares hilarious story about watching his first Ateneo-La Salle game

Jared Dillinger shares hilarious story about watching his first Ateneo-La Salle game

Jared Dillinger is no longer new to Philippine basketball. He’s had about 15 years of experience in the PBA and counting.


But there’s nothing quite like finding out for the first time how basketball is in the Philippines.


The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel veteran recalled his first week in the country after being drafted by the then-Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in 2008.


Dillinger was shown around the metro, along with team owner Manny V. Pangilinan.


“I'm just being cascaded around like I'm the new toy from the MVP group,” said Dillinger on ClutchPoints Philippines' Let it Fly podcast, where he also talked about Justin Brownlee's failed doping test. “Let's have him have dinner with MVP at Marco Polo (Hotel), let's take him to an Ateneo-La Salle game, let's take him to Talk 'N Text practice, so I'm just being shown all these things.”


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Dillinger, who played for the University of Hawaii in the US NCAA Division I, was used to seeing and playing against taller players.


That’s why when he was brought to the Ateneo-La Salle game, JD couldn’t help but notice something.


“Players starting coming out, they were just running around, getting warmed up. I'm looking around like, 'Yo, Boss MVP, so is this like the JV (junior varsity) team that's playing first? Oh, these are the teams?'" Dillinger said laughingly. "'Cause I'm looking, and no disrespect, but there's no one over 6-foot-5.”


“In the States, you go to D1 school, we look like men. Here, they look like little kids, so my first impression was like I'm gonna kill this league,” he added.


Of course, times have changed, and as of late, more and more players in the UAAP are already built for the professional leagues.


“Back then, I didn't see any buffed-out dudes playing in the UAAP,” said Dillinger. “You see now, everyone's got legs and they can jump out of the gym.”


Given that it was just his first week in the Philippines, JD later understood more about the culture of basketball in the Philippines—and with this, he’s built a solid career in the PBA, where he's won nine championships.


"My perception changed as I got to see how Philippine basketball was with the physicality, the mind games, and just the style of play,” said Dillinger.