April 23, 2018, 12:36 am
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Dillinger, Hodge set to come back

AMONG those who appreciate the long break in the PBA Philippine Cup the most should be Meralco.

The more than two-week break the Bolts are enjoying gave them more time to heal their injuries, particularly those on Cliff Hodge and Jared Dillinger.

According to Meralco coach Norman Black, Hodge’s back injury suffered in the last Governors Cup finals series should be completely healed by the time his team takes on Alaska on Jan. 10.

Ditto for Dillinger, who sat out the Bolts’ last game against San Miguel Beer, a 97-103 loss, on Dec. 27 due to tightness in his hamstring.

“Dillinger would be back by the time we face Alaska on Jan. 10,” said Black. “I think he and Cliff Hodge should be back by then.” 

Dillinger started off the season well by scoring 15 points in a 103-98 win over Blackwater on Dec. 22.

“He actually tore a hamstring before the all-Filipino (last season) and he didn’t play much because of it,” related Black.

“So we felt that it’s probably smart to let him sit out until he can loosen up his hamstring because we don’t want him pulling it again and sitting out for a long period of time.” 

Black said that Dillinger complained of tightness on his hamstring two days before they played SMB. Luckily, tests showed no tear or pull.

“We just waited until he felt more comfortable and he said he is now,” Black said.

Hodge and Dillinger are not the only Meralco players suffering from injury. Ranidel de Ocampo has yet to play a game in the conference after tearing his left calf muscle in Game 3 of the Governors Cup finals.

Alaska is also dealing with injuries, particularly to the knees of center Sonny Thoss and main backup Noy Baclao.

Thoss played limited minutes in a 98-106 loss to TNT last Dec. 29 while Baclao still has to see action in the conference.
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