Dillinger poured in a career-best 31 points and also got six rebounds and four assists, stepping up in the absence of Jayson Castro and Harvey Carey as the Texters got back on the winning track and gained a piece of second place with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Barako Bull Energy at 3-1.
The Llamados, on the other hand, slid to 1-3.
Kelly Williams made his season debut and had a hand helping the Texters rebound from an 86-100 loss to the Energy Wednesday.
“We’re all aware of our situation; we knew we had to make extra effort,” said Dillinger.
Williams rejoined the team but the Texters remained short-handed with Ranidel de Ocampo still out, and Castro and Carey joining him in the sideline after getting injured in their game versus Barako.
Compounding Talk n Text’s woes was Jimmy Alapag suffering an ankle sprain in the second quarter.
“Worry talaga ako kung tatagal kami sa game na ito with our team badly depleted. Fatigue did set in, and we just dug in, sucked it up, continued to play defense and found a way to win in the end,” said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.
“You’ll really get tired with our pace. Then B-Meg started to make their shots which was really expected from a good team like them,” Reyes added.
The Texters led by as many as 16 in the first quarter but went through anxious moment, facing a determined B-Meg charge at the finish.
The Llamados just refused to give up till the final buzzer.
They caught up at 81-all with 6:17 left to play, moved ahead at 85-83 and never surrendered even as the Texters regained control at 95-90 with time down to 29.8 seconds.
The Texters eventually pulled through as Aaron Abad tapped the ball away after Ryan Reyes missed the rear-end of two free throws with TnT ahead by only two, 96-94, with 2.6 seconds left to play. Curiously, the ball landed in the hands of Dillinger, the Texters’ main man in the game, knocking in five three-pointers, four twinners and eight charities.
Williams, back with TnT after reinforcing Smart Gilas Pilipinas in the recently held Fiba Asia Championship, added 23 points, six rebounds and one block against two turnovers.
Ali Peek shared 13 points and 12 rebounds while Larry Fonacier and Reyes contributed at least 11 points each.
Kerby Raymundo picked up his game in the second half and finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Llamados.
He joined forces with Josh Urbiztondo and Marc Pingris to get B-Meg back into the fight in the payoff period. James Yap made 14 points but visibly got tired playing 40 minutes.
He committed a passing error, missed a shot and committed a foul in the homestretch.
In the same span of time, Peek scored on a short stab then Dillinger converted a drive and a free throw as TnT went up 95-90 with time down to 29.8 seconds. (SB)
Talk 'N Text 96 -- Dillinger 31, Williams 23, Peek 13, Fonacier 12, Reyes 11, Aban 4, Aguilar 2, Raymundo 0, Alvarez 0, Alapag 0.
B-Meg 94 -- Raymundo 18, J. Yap 14, Simon 13, Urbiztondo 11, Pingris 11, Devance 10, Barroca 8, Reavis 7, R. Yap 2, Acuna 0, Ferriols 0.
Quarterscores: 32-19, 49-37, 74-66, 96-94