Baser Amer during the quarterfinals clash of Meralco and Blackwater. The Bolts knocked the Elite out of playoff contention Thursday night at the Big Dome. | PBA Images

 

Take-charge Amer fed up with Meralco going home empty-handed
Denison Rey A. Dalupang (philstar.com) - September 29, 2017 - 6:41am

MANILA, Philippines — Baser Amer was about to turn 25 years old, so he gave himself and his team the best gift. At least for now.

With the Meralco Bolts struggling in the first half of their do-or-die quarterfinals duel with the Blackwater Elite, the sophomore guard took matters into his hands. He caught fire with 22 points after a halftime huddle led by Norman Black.

"Gusto namin mapunta sa next chapter naman diba, kasi masarap maglaro dun eh,” he said. 

"Ayaw na namin ulit bumalik doon na maghihintay kami,” Amer shared. “Talo, tapos maghihintay pa kami ng next conference, papanoorin namin 'yung ibang team. Nakakainggit eh, nakakainggit para sa’kin."

The Bolts guard was referring to a last year’s heartbreak when Meralco was unable to secure the 2016 Governors’ Cup crown.

But clearly, Amer and the returning Allen Durham were hell-bent on erasing the bitter taste of that botched campaign — and of letting their twice-to-beat advantage in this quarterfinals go to waste.

The guard and the American reinforcement combined for 30 markers in that furious run in the third. The latter, even after hurting his ankle, managed to finish with 18 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists.

And according to Amer, Durham’s undying will to get back to the game fired up his teammates.

“'Yung import namin natapilok nung dulo pero nandun pa rin yung fighting spirit niya na bumalik,” he shared. “Pero wala nang excuses this game eh, kasi do-or-die na talaga.”

“Isang malaking regalo ‘to para sa’kin. Of course para din sa Meralco. Maraming kaming napasaya,” added Amer, who finished the game with his second-best career scoring output in 31 points.

Amer will definitely seek to snare the ultimate gift for himself and his team, but the Bolts will still have to weather two teams. Waiting in the semifinals are the Star Hotshots, whom they play in a best-of-five series starting Sunday.

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