IT took one broken play inside the final 76 seconds of Game Four for Baser Amer to regain his confidence.
The sophomore guard buried a pressure-packed three-pointer from the right corner to regain the momentum for Meralco in its pulsating 85-83 win over reigning champion Barangay Ginebra on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Amer’s shot from downtown was his only points in the fourth period, but the basket proved to be a huge one as the Bolts regained the upperhand, 83-81, with 1:16 left after the Kings appeared ready to take over the game following their mighty comeback from as much as a 13-point deficit in the third quarter.
The Meralco point guard finished with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting in his best game so far in the best-of-seven Governors Cup finals series now tied at 2-2. He was held scoreless in the team’s 94-81 win in Game Three on 0-for-6 shooting.
“Kahit nag-struggle ako the last game, actually the last three games, nandiyan pa rin sila coach, mino-motivate nila na ibalik ko yung laro ko,” said Amer when he joined coach Norman Black in the post-game press conference.
“Credit talaga kay coach Norman yung tiwala (niya sa akin).”
The play was really not meant for him, but rather for import Allen Durham and with Meralco trailing, 81-80, with inside the final two minutes.
"The play was actually for AD, but what we try to do in those type of plays is to space the floor, and then move the ball depending on how they rotate,” Black explained.
“If they (Kings) helped on AD which they regularly do, then we want to space the floor and everybody on the team knows where the open man is,” said the champion mentor. “And he’s open in the corner. He’s actually the last pass.”
Like a trusted sniper, Amer said he was ready to fire - struggling or not.
“Actually pagpasok ko, sabi sa akin ni coach Jimmy (Alapag) and coach Ronnie (Magsanoc), kapag libre ako, itira ko na,” he said. “Yun nga ang nangyari kaya tinira ko na.”
That helped Meralco get back in the series - and Amer to get back his confidence.