Baser Amer was sitting on the bench with ice packs wrapped around his knee. A tune-up match between Gilas Pilipinas and the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles just wrapped up moments earlier.
As Amer was resting, along with teammate Mike Tolomia, Kiefer Ravena went towards their spot. But before reaching for his things, the all-time Ateneo great said a few words addressing the San Beda legend.
“Ang sarap ng may kakamping Baser Amer. Dial seven lang kapag kailangan mo,” said Ravena with a grin.
It may be just an ordinary light moment between the teammates, but what Ravena perfectly described how Amer had fared against the Blue Eagles, and how Amer showed that he can be reliable for Gilas when needed.
The hard-earned win would not have been possible if it weren’t for Amer. Just as Ateneo closed within distance, 82-79, from a 10-point deficit, the Meralco Bolts star stunned their comeback with a teardrop to widen the gap, 84-79.
Amer also did wonders on the other side of the floor. He stole the Blue Eagles’ inbound pass with 29 ticks left, raced down the court, and dished it to a running Ravena for a lay-up.
The Davao City-native appeared to have a good grasp of the system Gilas is running, considering that his last run with the national team was back in 2015, where he donned the Philippines’ colors in the 2015 SEA Games.
But Amer was quick to point out that he and the whole team still have a lot of catching up to do. They have 11 days to do so, as the biennial regional meet set in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will open shop on August 19.
“Kahapon lang kami nag-practice,” said Amer.
“Medyo nangangapa pa kami sa isa’t-isa.”
It may be just a tune-up game, but nevertheless, Amer is showing that he can be one of the Nationals’ greatest assets in the long haul.