INSPIRED by the recent performance of the Word Championships-bound Gilas Pilipinas, Baser Amer tries to lead San Beda when it takes on San Sebastian on Monday in the resumption of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Tipoff is at 6 p.m. with the Red Lions star playmaker hoping to apply what he has learned from the national team as the NCAA champions go for their seventh win in eight games. A win would move the second-running squad to within a half-game of unbeaten leader Letran.
“Anything is possible when a team sticks to its system and has one goal,” Amer told Spin.ph on Sunday, referring to the Nationals’ monumental 86-79 semifinal victory over South Korea in the Fiba-Asia Championship on Saturday.
“And the crowd really plays an important role in a team’s success,” the pride of Davao added.
It’s not like they don’t have the system and the crowd support. The Lions have proven they have what it takes to rule the country’s oldest collegiate league, having won the title for three straight years and six of the last seven.
Amer is probably just drawing more motivation for his squad, which is up against dangerous Golden Stags side which, despite the departure of the “Pinatubo Trio” in Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang, and Ronald Pascual, has been performing well with their standout newcomers led by Jamil Ortuoste, CJ Perez, Leo de Vera, and Brad Guinto.
“They have players who can dominate at any given time like Ortuoste and Perez, and De Vera and Guinto are complementing them,” Lions coach Boyet Fernandez said. “We need our defense to step up.”
Nigerian slotman Ola Adeogun continues to anchor the Lions’ defense, along with fellow big men Kyle Pascual and Art dela Cruz.
“We know we are the underdog coming into this game,” said Stags coach Topex Robinson, whose team entered the two-week break with a 63-67 loss to Jose Rizal University and is in fourth spot with a 4-3 win-loss card.
Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde tries to put up its first winning streak of the season when it tangles with Arellano earlier at 4 o’clock.
Coming off five straight close losses, the Blazers barged into the win column with a 75-69 win over Lyceum in the last week of July. And they hope to replicate the result against the 2-4 Chiefs, who are trying to snap a two-game skid.