BASER Amer got an extra motivation in Meralco’s last-gasp push for a spot in the PBA Governors Cup Finals.
The heady guard disclosed getting an encouraging text from former teammate and mentor Jimmy Alapag just before the Bolts’ do-or-die game against Phoenix on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Na-surprise ako na nag-message siya sa akin, na good luck and stay aggressive lang daw ako,” said Amer, who added Alapag had also messaged him during the Bolts’ previous game against the Fuel Masters last Wednesday.
“So extra motivation sa akin yun, kasi Jimmy Alapag yun, di ba.”
The former San Beda star responded by exploding for 26 points, including 23 in the second half as he rallied Meralco for a 108-103 victory in overtime against twice-to-beat Phoenix and a ticket to the semifinals against Alaska,
Amer was 5-of-11 from three-point range, none bigger than the two he hit in the extra period that sparked a run of eight unanswered points to open overtime play.
Amer said he also received a congratulatory text former league MVP and now Alab Pilipinas coach after the game.
“'Great game Baser, big shot in the end. The extra shooting before and after practice worked at this moment. Congrats and good luck in the semis,'” said Amer quoting a part of Alapag’s text message.
“So di ba, nakakataba ng puso yun.”
Baser said he just did what the team needed from him, especially after going 1-of-7 from the field in the first half and scoring only three points.
Coach Norman Black reminded him inside the dugout during the halftime break that the Bolts would never win if he doesn’t score.
“Si coach Norman, mga coaches, mga teammates ko yun din ang sinabi,” said Baser. “Pero in the first half medyo nahirapan ako kasi ang ibinigay na depensa sa akin si JC Intal. Sobrang laki, so medyo nanibago ako, nahirapan ako.”
He changed that in the second half.