MAKING the PBA is already a dream come true.
What more if you’re in the same team as your childhood idol?
Baser Amer is relishing the opportunity to play with and be taken under the wing of Jimmy Alapag at Meralco.
“Number one idol ko talaga si Jimmy,” the rookie playmaker admitted in a chat with Spin.ph after practice on the eve of his pro debut. “Nung bata ako, pag tumitira ako, may kasamang, ‘Jimmyyy Alapaaag!’”
“Haud kaayo (sobrang galing),” the Davao native added of Alapag, the former league MVP, who has come out of retirement to help the Bolts in their bid to join the PBA’s elite. “Dati pinapanood ko lang, pero ngayon kabantayan ko na sa practice at lagi kong nakakausap.”
And the 23-year-old Amer, the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, is glad to be mentored by the former Gilas Pilipinas skipper.
“Hindi ka niya pababayaan,” the San Beda star said. “Sobrang happy na naging mentor ko siya, talagang tututukan ka.”
Of course, Amer, who has carved a name as arguably the best pure point guard in college, is molding his game after that of a fellow pass-first court general in Alapag.
“Alam niya paano mag-make ng good decisions, kung kailan pumasa at tumira, kasi ang hirap bantayan ng ganun eh,” Amer said. “May ibang player kasi na mag-shoo-shoot lagi.
“Si cap Jimmy, yung priority niya 'yung teammates niya,” he added. “Pag wala talaga siyang makita, dun lang siya titira. Kaya ang hirap bantayan eh, kasi hindi mo alam kung kailan siya titira.”
Amer, who has attended only his fourth practice with the Bolts, hopes to immediately familiarize himself with his teammates’ tendencies.
“Kailangang makabisado ko agad yung bawat isa, kung san 'yung strong points nila, kung saan sila comfortable tumira, kailangan ko rin makabisado yung plays namin.”
Amer makes his debut on Wednesday when the Bolts take on a Blackwater side that’s also unveiling a former Red Lions standout in Art dela Cruz.
But he is still moving on from a heartbreaking NCAA finals defeat at the hands of archrival Letran.
“Wala na ‘yun,” Amer insisted. “Panibagong journey na ‘to. Kailangan makalimutan na ‘yun, kasi kung malungkot ka pa, baka mahawa yung mga teammates mo dito, so kailangan mag-grow up ka kaagad.”
The 5-foot-11 point guard has to as he cherishes the realization of his dream.
“Masaya ako,” he said. “Ang hirap talaga makapunta dito. Kailangan pagtrabahuhan.”
“Ngayong nandito na ako, hindi ko sasayangin ang opportunity na ‘to,” he added. “Sana magtagal ako dito.”