BASER Amer’s coming of age seemed to be finally bearing fruit.
The astute playmaker stands out as the best possible player from Meralco to be included in the training pool of Gilas Pilipinas.
Coach Chot Reyes appeared to be leaning towards tapping the former San Beda star to take the place of former Bolt Jonathan Grey, who has since been traded to Globalport.
“I think for Meralco si Baser Amer,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said on Thursday after meeting with Reyes and PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa regarding Gilas' plans ahead of the Fiba World Cup qualifier.
The need to name another Meralco veteran player – and one more from NLEX – in the Gilas training pool arose after Grey and the Road Warriors’ Bradwyn Guinto became part of a four-team, multiple players’ trade, creating an overload of Gilas pool members at GlobalPort.
Counting cadet Von Pessumal, Globalport ended up with four players in the national pool, including Terrence Romeo, who is the shoo-in to be retained by Reyes.
The deal meanwhile, left Meralco and NLEX with no other national team representatives other than cadets Ed Daquioag and Alfonso Gotladera.
Panlilio said Reyes still has to decide who he wants to call up from NLEX.
But no doubt, Amer has made a case for himself behind his steady plays in his sophomore season with the Bolts.
On Wednesday night, he erupted for a league career-high 32 points in leading Meralco to a 103-100 win over TnT Katropa that forged a deciding game in the battle for the last semifinal berth of the Commissioner’s Cup.
In the case of Blackwater, the SBP president doesn’t see any need to pick another player as Art Dela Cruz and Mac Belo remain with the team and are only on the injured list.
Panlilio even said Belo, the 6-foot-4 forward out of Far Eastern University, is already expected to play for the Elite in the season-ending Governors Cup.
“I think Belo will be ready (na). Same with Art,” he said. “Injured lang naman (sila).”
Belo is set to return for Blackwater in the Governors Cup, although dela Cruz has already been declared out for the rest of the season.