IF he only had one wish for his birthday, Baser Amer would undoubtedly ask for a fourth straight championship for San Beda in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
And if he could have two wishes, the star point guard of the Red Lions who turned 21 on Sunday, would spend the other one on a win in their next game against San Sebastian on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
“It’ll be a fitting gift,” Amer said on Sunday as the league-leading Lions get ready to face the Golden Stags at 6 p.m., seeking a 13th victory in 15 games that would gain them further separation from the rest of the pack.
“But I would really love to win the championship pa for my school and my team,” the third-year playmaker from Davao was quick to add. “That would be a better gift.”
Amer, who registered 21 points, five assists, and two rebounds in the Lions’ thrilling 78-76 overtime victory over University of Perpetual Help last Thursday, tries to lead his team anew against the streaking Stags, who have won their last four games.
San Beda trampled San Sebastian, 83-64, in the first round, but the Stags were without their own star guard Jamil Ortuoste, who was out with a sprained ankle that time.
Sidelined anew due to fever in the team’s 58-53 win over Lyceum the last time, Ortuoste had more time to rest in the Stags’ supposed game against College of St. Benilde last September 23 that was postponed due to inclement weather.
Expected to be back, Ortuoste teams up with fellow standout rookie CJ Perez in leading the fourth-running Stags in exacting revenge against the Lions for a ninth win in 14 games.
Perez showed why he is being compared to former King Stag Calvin Abueva by tallying all-around numbers of 28 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal in San Sebastian’s 58-53 win over Lyceum.
In the other game, Perpetual Help hopes to keep in step with the leaders as it takes on Lyceum in the 4 p.m. match.
The Altas are running third in the 10-team standings with an 11-4 win-loss card and they face a Pirates side that’s on the edge of elimination with only four wins to show against 10 losses.