Optimism is really on a high that this will finally be the conference Baser Amer takes the lead playmaking responsibility to his own.
And after his stellar showing in Meralco’s 94-86 victory over Mahindra on Friday, where he poured 19 points on a 3-of-7 shooting from threes, on top of three rebounds and three assists, that prediction may truly become a reality this time out.
For Amer, though, he says that his improved game is due to the Bolts’ motivation to bounce back after a forgettable Philippine Cup run.
“Tinrabaho lang talaga namin itong laro namin. Ang aga namin nag-start ng practice eh kasi last conference, ang aga namin na-out,” he said. “Nagtrabaho lang kami and helped each other sa practice.”
Heeding words of wisdom from former starting point guard and now-assistant coach Jimmy Alapag, Amer has also expressed his willingness to take more of a leadership role.
“Lagi lang niyang sinasabi sa akin sa practice na this is my time. Hindi naman ganoon kadali maka-recover sa pagkawala niya, pero dinadahan-dahan ko lang. Pinag-aaralan ko lang yung sistema ng team.
And he did, showing his aggressiveness on both ends of the court much to the delight of coach Norman Black.
“He has really matured in between the two conferences. He seems to have a better grasp of the PBA right now, of what he can do and what can’t do. He’s been playing for us really well in the preseason and it came out in the real game today so I’m happy for Baser,” the mentor said.
However, Amer doesn;t want to believe in his own hype that easily as he seeks to sustain this positive play in the coming games.
“Kailangan namin maging leader – ako, si (Chris) Newsome, si Anjo (Caram) – kasi yun yung kulang sa team. Kailangan naming mapasunod sila sa gusto ni coach pero kailangan pa rin ng more confidence. Sana tuluy-tuloy na and tulong lang din mula sa mga teammates ko,” he said.