BASER Amer always told Kiefer Ravena to take him along whenever he attends the weekly Gilas Pilipinas practices.
“Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanya kahit nung nandito pa siya sa Gilas na isama niya naman ako dito kahit practice player lang. Gusto ko ng experience at dagdag kaalaman kasi lahat dito magagaling eh,” he said.
Though part of the pool, Amer has not had a chance to don the national tri-colors for the seniors’ division save for his two stints in the Southeast Asian Games.
But with Ravena being slapped with an 18-month doping ban, the window of opportunity has opened for the 25-year-old Davaoeño Amer as he was called to report to the national team practices on Monday.
“Tinext ako ni sir Butch Antonio saying na pinapapunta ako dito ni coach Chot (Reyes). Nag-reply naman ako kaagad na sige,” he shared.
Amer’s inclusion is a much-needed shot in the arm for Team Philippines, especially with Ravena and Kevin Alas, who suffered an ACL injury early in the PBA season, both out of commission.
“That’s two point guards already that we’re missing from the program,” lamented Reyes.
“That’s the good thing about having a pool — they know that they’re always there. Para silang naka-on-call. Si Baser, si Mike Tolomia, we have all these other guys, people who already know what they’re doing.”
For Amer, he’s just grateful to get this chance as he hopes to prove himself worthy of a spot in the team and make his close friend Ravena proud.
“Sobrang happy and thankful ko. Unexpected din kasi na nakasama ulit ako sa team na ito, especially to coach Chot. Gusto kong mag-thank you sa kanya na binigyan niya ulit ako ng opportunity dito sa Gilas,” he said.
And Amer promises that he won’t waste this call-up as he tries to make the most of it.
“Ang daming player na gustong pumasok dito. Nandito na ako, so sana makapasok ako sa lineup. Sobrang sarap kasi maglaro talaga para sa Gilas,” he said.