Baser Amer hits ground running after layoff, gives Jimmy Alapag plenty of rest
Baser Amer was efficient in his first game back for Meralco, compiling 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, three boards, two assists and no turnover in 17 minutes off the bench. Jaime Campos

BASER Amer made the most of his return from injury as he spelled a difference in Meralco’s 109-102 over Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night.

The rookie playmaker, sidelined by back and hamstring injuries in the first four games, registered 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, three boards, two assists and no turnover in 17 minutes off the bench in his conference debut as the Bolts snapped a two-game skid.

Amer scored all but two of his eight points in the second quarter, particularly in a crucial stretch that steadied the ship anew for the Bolts after the Elasto Painters cut their double-digit lead to just five points.

“Sobrang excited ko eh,” Amer told SPIN.ph. “Sabi lang ni coach Norman (Black) na mag-focus lang kami sa defense. Rain or Shine is a tough team and mabilis yung pace nila, so nag-focus lang kami sa game plan.”

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The 23-year-old Amer, the seventh overall pick in the last draft, also gave Jimmy Alapag plenty of breather after the 38-year-old starting point guard logged extensive minutes while Amer was gone.

After averaging 27.7 minutes in his first four games, Alapag played just 18 minutes, still enough time to produce nine points, seven assists, and three boards.

“Sabi lang ni Jimmy na kailangan ko maging ready,” Amer said. “If may chance ako pumasok, kailangan maging aggressive lang ako.”

It also helped Amer’s recovery that the Bolts kept training during the All-Star break, only resting last Saturday.

“Tuloy-tuloy training,” the Davao native said. “Kailangan sa training pa lang, sinasanay mo na yung body language mo, kailagan i-apply mo siya sa game.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos