Baser Amer guided by Alapag teachings as he takes over leadership role at Meralco
Baser Amer says filling the void left by Jimmy Alapag is no easy task. Jerome Ascano

SLOWLY but surely, Baser Amer is staring to show that Meralco is in good hands at the point guard position after the retirement of veteran guard Jimmy Alapag.

On Friday night, Amer put knowledge gained in years under the tutelage of Alapag to good use, scoring 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting in leadin Meralco to a 94-86 win over Mahindra in the opener of the PBA Commissioner's Cup.

The former San Beda star guard admitted filling the void left by Alapag is no easy task, but simply took to heart the words of wisdom of the former Meralco and Gilas team captain.

“Lagi niya (Alapag) lang sinasabi sa akin sa practice na this is my time,” shared the third-year Meralco playmaker. “(Pero) 'di naman ganun kadali (mapunuan) ‘yung pagkawala niya. Dinadahan-dahan ko lang, pinag-aaralan ko lang ‘yung sistema ng team.”

The soft-spoken Davao City native, who also had three rebounds, three assists and three steals in 29 minutes of play, said the Bolts worked hard in the offseason to atone for an early Philippine Cup exit.

“Tinrabaho lang talaga namin 'tong laro namin. Aga namin nag-start ng practice eh, kasi nga last conference ang aga namin na-out,” he said. “So ‘yun lang, nagtrabaho lang kami sa practice, we helped each other talaga sa practice.”

Meralco coach Norman Black said he admires the new-found maturity in Amer's game.

“He has really matured in between the two conferences, he seems to have a better grasp on what he can do and he can’t do. He came out to play today,” said Black.

To be effective at point guard, Amer, 24, said he has to be a leader on the court for the Bolts.

“Siguro naging leader lang ako sa loob kasi ‘yun siguro yung kulang sa team,” he said. “Kailangan namin maging leader ako, si (Chris) Newsome, si Anjo (Caram) para mapasunod namin sila sa gusto ni coach.”

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