Good Enough for Gilas: Jared Dillinger

2014 is going to be a BIG year for Philippine basketball. This year will mark the first time two of our Philippine National Teams (Men’s and U17) will march onto the world stage and compete at the highest level of international hoops. Our very own Gilas Pilipinas squad will go to Spain and play in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, while the Philippine U17 Team, coached by Jamike Jarin, will troop over to Dubai for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships. 

It’s been reported that the Gilas Pilipinas brain trust is keen on tapping more players to join the pool, with the magic number pegged at 24. That means that there are still around eleven slots open. Take note that this does not YET include the two naturalized prospects of the team — Javale McGee of the Denver Nuggets and Andray Blatche of the Brooklyn Nets. We’re still not sure if their respective naturalization processes will finish in time for Gilas to include their names in the final 24-man pool.

As of this writing, the 2014 FIBA World Cup Draw is done, and the Philippines has been grouped along with Senegal, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Greece, and Croatia. That, in my opinion, is the second-toughest group of the lot, and making it into the second round will certainly be the tallest task coach Chot Reyes has ever faced. Needless to say, he’ll need all thew support he can get.

This is the sixth piece in a series of posts detailing the players who can be part of that pool. For each named individual, we will look at the good things he can bring to the pool, his probable role should he get named to the final Gilas lineup, and the possible match-ups he will have at the Asian and world levels.

Today, we’ll talk about someone who was part of Gilas in the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo and the 2013 Gilas national pool. Unfortunately, he got into a vehicular accident and, consequently, was no longer able to be part of pool afterwards. Still, he’s one of the most talented and capable players at his position — Jared Dillinger.

Jared Dillinger has had a renaissance of sorts with Meralco.
(image by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5)

What he brings to the table:
Dillinger’s first and last tour of duty in the FIBA Asia Men’s Championships was way back in 2009, when Powerade Team Pilipinas finished eigth. The Pinoys advanced to the quarterfinals, but lost their last three games to Jordan, Qatar, and Korea. In that tournament, Dillinger was the team’s third-leading scorer (behind Cyrus Baguio and James Yap). His tournament-high was banging in 21 points against Sri Lanka in the first round. 

Fast forward to 2012 and Dillinger found himself in a Pilipinas jersey once more. This time, he was a major factor in Gilas’s campaign in Tokyo, Japan. Winning that joust would’ve given the Pinoys an automatic berth in the 2013 FIBA Asia tourney. Dillinger finished as the team’s second-leading scorer behind naturalized player Marcus Douthit. Dillinger netted 9.9 points per game in more than 18 minutes per outing as the Filipinos ended up in fourth place.

In both of those competitions, Dillinger’s main strength was his versatility. Just like Gabe Norwood, Dillinger can effectively play all three perimeter positions — point guard, shooting guard, and small forward. If coach Chot feels like he needs to push the pedal to the metal and play small-ball, then he can also force-fit Dillinger at the 4 spot. 

Even in the PBA, this is what Dillinger really brings to the table. So far in the 2013-2014 PBA season, the Meralco Bolt is averaging 11.7ppg, 6.3rpg, and 2.9apg. He has become the Bolts’ primary playmaker since Mike Cortez went down with an injury, often playing alongside shooters Gary David and John Wilson at the wings. 

Jared Dillinger drives strong against Iran in the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup.
(image from

Why he is a good fit for Gilas: 
Even in the practices prior to his getting injured, Dillinger already seemed like a great fit for coach Chot’s dribble-drive system. He has enough quickness to blow by most opposing wing players, and he can finish well close to the hole. His three-point shooting is not really his forte, but, still, leaving him open would be folly. He’s definitely not as streaky as, say, David or Larry Fonacier, but he more than makes up for that with better defense and ball-handling. Based on the early Gilas practices in 2013, in fact, I would’ve pegged him as Gilas’s top SF alongside Norwood. In my mind, I had him a little bit ahead of Fonacier, who played out of position at the 3 spot anyway.

Potential match-ups:
FIBA-Asia: Samad Nikkhah Bahrami (IRI), Jimmy Baxter (JOR), Sun Yue (CHN)
FIBA World Cup: John Holland (PUR), Konstantinos Sloukas (GRE), Maleye Ndoye (SEN)

Maleye Ndoye is one of the Senegalese's top guns.
(image from

Whether in FIBA Asia or in the World Cup, Dillinger, should he make the final cut, will be in for some really tough competition. Bahrami is one of the craftiest scorers in the world, and Baxter and Sun Yue aren’t exactly pushovers, too. Holland and Sloukas are proven contributors for Puerto Rico and Greece, respectively, while Ndoye (there are two Ndoyes in the Senegalese squad; this one is the small forward) is a high-flyer who canned more than two triples per game in Afrobasket 2013. Basically, Dillinger will have his work cut out for him. Just like what Norwood did in 2013, Dillinger’s main goal will be to limit the opposing team’s wingmen from putting up their usual production.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at one of the members of Gilas 2011. This was a guy who struggled a little bit in that Wuhan joust, but he has been registering great numbers of late for the Petron Blaze Boosters — Chris Lutz.

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7 Comment

and Shooting:
C: 7'0" McGee, 6'11" Slaughter
F: 6'9" Aguilar, 6'10" Fajardo
F: 6'5" RDO, 6'7" JWash/KWill
G: 6'5" Gabe, 6'5" Jared, 6'2" Gary D
G: 5'10" Castro, 6'2" Ryan Reyes, 5'9" Jimmy


*Big lineup without losing Speed, Flexibility, and Shooting

Speed: Castro and Jared
Defense: Ryan and Gabe
Shooting: Jimmy and Gary
Big: Gabe, Jared

Speed and Defense: McGee, Aguilar, KWill/Pingris(?)
Shooting: RDO, Aguilar, Slaughter(He can shoot midrange Js)
BIG: McGee, Slaughter, Aguilar


Center: Fajardo, Slaughter. Power Forward: Blatche, Aguilar. Small Forward: Pingris, De Ocampo, Washington.. Shooting/Off Guard: Norwood, Lassiter, Dillinger. Point Guard: Castro, Lee.


Pos. Starter/Bench/Reserve
C: Douthit(6'11)/Fajardo(6'11)

I think this is the best lineup without losing much efficiency and chemistry. Players lost: Gary david; RDO. Players gained: Sol Mercado, Marcio Lassiter. Gary and RDO are great players in the Philippines, but watching them during the last FIBA Asia tourney, theyre struggling in international competition. Gary's a great scorer but lacks the speed and quickness, strength to finish and to create his own shot vs. bigger and much athletic players. RDO's post game is inefficient since his posting up bigger and stronger and faster guys than him. which makes him a spot up shooter at best. Plus, their defense is just atrocious! Both players lack the physical abilities to stay in front of their man and the right awareness is just not there when it comes to help defense(slow and easily fatigued). They're PBA hall of famers no doubt. Salute to them but International play is just different.

With The addition of Lassiter and Dillinger, they give us versatility.(which is very important in international competitions, which i assure, that we'll play small ball) An extra streaky shooter with Lassiter, and another effective slasher with Dillinger.during the FIBA Asia tourney, We had 6 guards but we only had 1 guy who effectively ran our offense and is exceptional at the dribble drive offense.Jayson Castro. Dillinger does it almost as well because of his speed and quickness. plus this two guys gives us length and versatility in defense. nice! Sol mercado's purpose is to matchup with larger guards to release the pressure on Castro. He is also a great combo guard which is a great addition in our offense.

I would prefer Douthit over McGee or Blatche, cause he already knows the chemistry of the Filipinos. He's well experienced in international play plus the only guy in those three who has a polished post game. which is definitely needed by our team. You already know why the other Gilas standouts returns to the lineup :) Jimmy's purpose: Leadership. Pingris: Heart and Soul, the others, self explanatory. I feel pretty confident with this lineup. And Im not just sayin this. I believe in our team!

PS. Fajardo and Slaughter plus Douthit is just too much for the center position. Both guys are not polished enough for the international tourneys(FIBA Asia: fajardo is not strong and quick enough to use his height against experienced and proven bigmen). If we include greg, that would be two slow footed men who struggles with the pace of international basketball. they great centers in the PBA who blocks shots, rebounds, and puts the ball inside the basket better than anyone in our country but i doubt it if they can do that in the world cup without sweating their ballsacks.


Tenorio is still preferred over Mercado. His maturity and basketball q is arguably the best in the pba.
De Ocampo is tough to lose. Though an undersize forward, he is very effective, and has always been. He is strong, and can be very streaky at 3 point shots. He is also reliable at scoring even at bigger defenders, and is a team player offensively.


I dont know how many players sir Enjo plans on putting in his list of "good enough for gilas".

My picks are only 8 players whom i think are good enough for the pool. (In addition to Chot's 12 member team) These are:
Greg Slaughter
Jay Washington
Joe Devance
Jared Dillinger
Chris Lutz
Marcio Lassiter
Paul Lee


And Kiefer Ravena :)