With Alapag by his side, vastly improved Baser Amer makes smooth return to Gilas fold
Two years after playing for the Gilas cadets in the SEA Games, Baser Amer is getting reacquianted with the dribble-drive offense of head coach Chot Reyes. Jaime Campos

NOT much has changed since Baser Amer donned the national team colors two years ago.

Although he played under then coach Tab Baldwin in the Gilas cadets' run to the gold medal in the 2015 Southeast Games, Amer doesn't see much of a difference in Chot Reyes' time in charge.

Gilas, after all, is still running the same system and still features remnants from that 2015 SEA Games team like Kevin Ferrer, Jio Jalalon, and Mike Tolomia.

That doesn't mean, however, that there are no adjustments necessary for Amer.

"Nangapa kasi first time ko talaga na nagawa ulit yung ganung sistema. As a point guard kailangan ko mapagaralan yung plays," said the Meralco guard as he got reacquianted with the dribble-drive offense during the team's first practice on Tuesday night.

Good thing Gilas assistant coach Jimmy Alapag, also his mentor at Meralco, is making the transition smooth for the Davao City native.

"Si coach Jimmy kasi, hindi na kailangan na ako yung lalapit sa kanya on extra work," said Amer. 

"Parang sya na mismo ang lalapit sayo at sasabihan ka kung gusto mo mag-shooting at mag-practice. Nasa akin na lang kung willing ka sa gusto nyang ituro."

For now, Amer is just glad to be given another shot at representing the country in the Jones Cup as well as in the Fiba Asia Cup and SEA Games.

"Masaya kasi naging part ako dito. Nagpapasalamat ako kay Coach Chot at sa management na sinama ako sa program ng Gilas," he said.

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