Baser Amer continues to be the catalyst on offense for coach Norman Black and Meralco.
The 27-year-old guard paced all locals with 26 points while adding four assists to backstop Allen Durham for the Bolts' third win in four games. Amer also shot 8-for-15 from the field and made four of his 10 3-point attempts to successfully follow up his torrid outing on Friday against Alaska (27 points and 6-for-11 triples.)
"That feels good, to be honest with you, to see Baser have back-to-back great games offensively. When he shoots the ball like that, it gives us a much better chance of winning," Bolts coach Norman Black said of his ward.
His increased assertiveness in these last two games coincides with the Bolts' improved activity from downtown, where they have shot 35.6 percent after nailing just 7-for-25 of their 3s (28 percent) against NLEX on September 27.
"I just increased my attempts and I worked aggressively in the offseason," Amer said in Filipino. "These last two games have really seen our three-point shooting come out. I hope we don't get contented with what we do in practice so we can continue to apply those during games."
Amer himself has seen his numbers from that department spike after making just 33 percent of his shots in the Commissioner's Cup. In four games, he's at 41.9 percent -- including an impressive 13-for-27 mark after missing his first four tries from outside in their Governors' Cup opener.
"Our percentages really sank after that loss to NLEX. The coaches, especially coach Norman, just keep motivating us. He always tells us to go to practice earlier so we can work on our three-point shooting," he added.
Another notable aspect of Amer's game this conference is his play on defense, where his stout work on one-on-one coverages and in the passing lanes have produced 1.7 steals per game.
"What really hasn't been noticed, probably, is the fact that his defense has been very solid this conference. He's been defending very well. He's playing both ends of the court. A lot of times you need someone to step up and take over for your team, and the last couple of games it's been Baser," Black observed.
Amer admits he aims to be "a two-way player."
"I can defend, I can score. Our offense and defense have been OK the last four games. Coach always mentions that I've improved on defense," he said.
Meralco's next game against TNT could serve as a litmus test for Amer, who noted that he'll be going up against a team that's also guard-oriented.
"They're a strong team," he said. "The import's strong, the coach is great. We need to match up to that. Maybe defense will spell the difference. If you look at their offense, they reach 100 points a lot. Their ball movement is great. So when we get back to practice, we'll focus on defense and on the smaller things, the details and coach's game plan so we can execute well in-game."