GETTING sidelined hardly worried Jimmy Alapag about Meralco’s offense in its PBA Governors’ Cup game against NLEX on Wednesday night.
The veteran 38-year-old playmaker, who was out with a minor calf injury, has taught Baser Amer enough that he was dead sure his protégé would fill the void.
“It was more just muscle tightness and maybe thirty-eight-year-old-itis kicked in,” Alapag said with a smile after the Bolts held off the Road Warriors, 101-95. “But I’ll be fine.”
“But I was happy Baser came out and hit some big shots in the endgame and most importantly, we got the win,” he added.
After orchestrating the offense and dishing out seven assists, Amer turned aggressive as he scored all his seven points in the last minute and 30 seconds that helped the Bolts gain enough cushion against NLEX.
“Nung hindi ako maka-shoot nung una, sinabi lang niya (Alapag) sakin to just keep on shooting, so naging ready lang din ako,” Amer said.
“Dapat talaga mag-double effort ako every time kasi si Jimmy seven to ten assists siya a game so kailangan mapantayan ko yung ginagawa niya,” the rookie point guard added. “Credit din sa kanya kasi kahat nasa bench ako, lagi niya akong sinasabihan na stay aggressive and stay ready.”
Alapag is more than willing to take the 23-year-old Amer under his wing.
“That’s part of my role here: to do what I can on the court to help the team win, but at the same time, do my best to help mentor Baser,” the former league MVP said of Amer, who missed the first few games of the conference due to a hamstring injury.
“He’s got off to a slow start to the conference because of his injury, but the fact that he got (close to) thirty minutes tonight on the court is great,” Alapag added. “There’s more to come this conference for the rest of his career.”