Friday evening, the Phoenix Fuel Masters’ dream run came to an end at the hands of the Meralco Bolts – a heartbreaking loss, since the scoreline read 106-103 in overtime.
And a familiar face to Phoenix head coach Louie Alas led the Bolts’ turnaround, as Baser Amer was the one who instigated Meralco’s surge in extra time.
Amer knocked down back-to-back triples to open overtime to give Meralco a huge 102-94 lead.
The 6-foot guard from Davao City eventually ended the game with 26 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Besides this, Meralco eliminated Phoenix, 106-103.
The sight of Amer taking over is a scene all too familiar for Alas.
During Amer’s five-year career in San Beda, he brought plenty of heartaches to Alas, including the time he played a pivotal role in the NCAA Season 88 Seniors Basketball Finals that saw the Red Lions win the crown in three games.
“Eh talagang masasabi ko na magaling yung bata. Nagka-cramps na eh.
“Sabi ko nga one stop na lang kami nung maka-shoot siya ng three-points sa fourth quarter. We were up by seven,” recalled Alas, as Amer had 11 points in the final frame. “Nung maka-shoot siya, clock winding down.
“Not meant to be, yun nga lang. Kontrolado namin dapat yung situwasyon. It’s within our control, ‘di namin na-control. Yun yung experience na binigay ng Meralco sa kanila,” he added.
Still, it’s one of the things he and the team needs to overcome in order to be part of the upper echelon of the league.
“Medyo masakit, kasi alam naman nila eh. Pero, sabi nga ni Matthew [Wright] kanina, yung Chicago [Bulls], bago nag-champion, ang daming dugong inabot sa Detroit [Pistons],” Alas shared. “So tayo, kailangan nating gawin yan. Yung San Antonio [Spurs], bago naging champion yan, kung talunin ng Utah [Jazz] yan, sini-sweep nga ng Utah yan eh.
“It’s a process, yun nga lang dapat yung proseso namin, nag-uumpisa nang mag-reap ng fruits. So, we’re expecting that next year.”
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