Meralco rookie Baser Amer thrilled to see extra work, Alapag mentoring pay off
“I see a lot of myself in him in how he sees the floor and how he approaches the game, so while I’m here, whatever I can do to help that process for him, that’s what I’m here for," Meralco veteran Jimmy Alapag says of Baser Amer. Jerome Ascano

BASER Amer usually comes in at the Meralco gym on training days at 10 a.m.

It’s nothing unusual, except that Bolts practice starts at 1 p.m.

The rookie playmaker’s extra shooting work before and practice is paying off, with the latest evidence seen in Meralco’s 106-83 victory over Blackwater in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday.

Amer, a first-in, last-out player in training, knocked down all his four three-point attempts and finished with 15 points in just 18 minutes off the bench as the Bolts snapped a two-game skid and regained the lead in the standings.

“Naging habit ko na rin kasi na mag-extra shooting,” said the former San Beda star, who makes it a point to drain 100 triples each before and after practice.

“Naging focus lang ako the past few practices namin, nag-extra shooting together with kuya Jimmy (Alapag),” added the Davao native, who scored all his output in just three quarters and added two assists, two boards, and one steal.

Alapag has guided Amer in his development since the offseason.

“It’s helping him understand the type of work ethic to ultimately have a long career here in the PBA,” the former MVP said. “He’s obviously a great player, but nowadays, there are so many talented guys in the PBA that it’s important to keep that edge.”

“He’s been a willing listener and I’m just happy that he’s seeing the benefit and reaping the rewards of all his hard work during the offseason,” he added.

Amer feels fortunate to have Alapag by his side.

“Sobrang blessed ako kasi leader talaga siya,” the 5-foot-10 point guard said. “Gina-guide niya kami lahat, hindi lang point guard.”

[See Meralco ends slump, routs Blackwater behind Amer heroics]

So is Amer bound to be the second coming of the Mighty Mouse?

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“I hope better (than me), I really do,” Alapag said. “I see a lot of myself in him in how he sees the floor and how he approaches the game, so while I’m here, whatever I can do to help that process for him, that’s what I’m here for.”

“Tonight was another big step in the right direction for him and for our team,” he concluded.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos