Baser Amer overcomes timidity, self-doubt to become the playmaker Meralco needs
Baser Amer has become comfortable running the show for Meralco. Jaime Campos

WITH 40 seconds left in the game and Meralco facing a late-game uprising from Rain or Shine, Baser Amer got his wish when coach Norman Black drew up a play designed around him.

He didn't disappoint.

Like his glory days in the collegiate ranks in San Beda, Amer ran a pick and roll with Alex Stepheson to perfection, drawing the defense before sending a perfectly timed pass to his hulking import which all but sealed the win with a lay-up.

The single play was the best evidence that Amer has not only become a good player who can rack up the points, but someone who can take charge in crunch situations for Meralco.

"Nung tumawag siya ng timeout, nasa isip ko na rin na sana ibigay sakin ni coach yung last shot. Gusto ko talaga manalo," Amer said after he finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in their 89-83 win. 

"Sinabi nya na ibigay sakin yung bola. Kinausap ko rin si Alex na bigyan ako ng magandang screen tapos ako na bahala sa kanya. Ginawa naman niya tapos nadagdagan yung assist ko," he added. 

[See Unbeaten Meralco deals RoS its first loss]

That new-found confidence goes a long way in establishing Amer as the Bolts' top playmaker after the retirement of Jimmy Alapag.

At age of 24, Amer admitted that he first struggled in taking command for the squad especially with several veterans in the team.

Slowly but surely, the proud son of Davao is getting the hang of it. 

"Sabi lang ni coach sa akin na kahit baguhan ako sa team, kailangan matuto ako pagsabihan sila. Dapat di ako matakot sa kanila kahit beterano sila at baguhan ako sa league," Amer said.

"Akala ko nung una mahirap kasi nakakahiya. Pero once na sinabihan mo sila in a good way, mas madali lang pala. High school at college nagagawa ko naman, nahinto lang nung baguhan ako kasi nga nahihiya pero comfortable na ako."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @Bassman500