BASER Amer stole the limelight from debuting rookie Christian Standhardinger as the peppery guard waxed hot for Meralco in a 93-85 win over defending champion San Miguel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The unassuming playmaker led the Bolts in scoring with a game-high 28 points, firing 13 of them in the fourth period to help his team stun the mighty Beermen and spoil the debut of the 6-foot-8 Standhardinger.
Amer was 5-of-6 from three-point range and 8-of-13 from the field. He also had eight rebounds and three assists in Meralco’s third win in four starts.
He played down taking the spotlight away from Standhardinger, stressing San Miguel’s double-team defense against Meralco import Arinze Onuaku left him open.
“Talagang libre lang, and at the same time, pina-practice talaga namin yun,” he said. “Pag yung bola nasa import dino-double talaga so bale may isa sa amin na nalilibre. Nagkataon lang na ako yung nalilibre.”
But whether he was feeling it or not, the San Beda product admitted the win was a huge boost for the Bolts’ campaign in the mid-season tournament.
“Sobrang saya siyempre kasi top team sila,” he said of the favored Beermen, who are playing in their very first game since winning the Philippine Cup last month.
The Bolts outscored the Beermen in fast-break points, 17-7.
Ironically, Amer even got his rhythm going late in the fourth period after he hurt his knee.
He five straight points- a clutch three-pointer to stretch a one-point Meralco lead to 85-81, and then two free throws with 23 seconds left - slammed the door on the Beermen.
“Pinagpag lang,” said Amer when asked about his foot. "Na-timingan na rin na maganda ang laro ko kaya sabi ko kay coach (Norman Black) na I will stay."