BASER Amer buried the go-ahead three-pointer with 13.6 seconds as Meralco finally snapped out of a six-game skid, beating NLEX, 108-105, on Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Amer converted the game-winning trey just moments after making another heads-up play, calling a timeout off an offensive rebound as he put the final touches to the Bolts' comeback from a 16-point deficit.
Amer finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, and four steals. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter alone, none bigger than the three-pointer that broke a 105-105 tie and sealed just the second win in eight games for Meralco.
Amer also tied the game after scoring a floater, which turned into a three-point play off Aaron Fuller’s sixth foul.
“We struggled throughout the game. We’ve been struggling a lot lately especially since we came back from Thailand,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, whose team represented the country in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup.
"Our defense is really not on point right now. But the players didn’t give up in this game. They kept fighting up to the very end and the result is we got a win tonight to keep our flickering hopes alive for the playoffs."
The Bolts actually scored the final nine points of the game after trailing, 105-99, with 1:40 left, with Reynal Hugnatan's three-pointer igniting the fiery finishing kick.
Allen Durham had 36 points, 18 rebounds, and two blocks for the Bolts. He also preserved Meralco’s only lead of the game when he blocked Juami Tiongson’s three-point try that could have tied the game.
Fuller had 31 points and 13 rebounds, while Larry Fonacier had 21 points for NLEX, which failed to protect an 82-66 lead to start off the fourth and slipped to 4-5.
Meralco 108 – Durham 36, Amer 22, Newsome 14, Hugnatan 12, Hodge 10, Caram 8, Salva 2, Lanete 2, Jamito 2, Faundo 0, Atkins 0, Tolomia 0.
NLEX 105 – Fuller 31, Fonacier 21, Quinahan 17, Ighalo 9, Galanza 6, Tallo 5, Marcelo 4, Rios 3, Taulava 3, Baguio 2, Paniamogan 2, Soyud 2, Monfort 0, Tiongson 0.
Quarters: 13-17; 36-39; 66-80; 108-105.