PBA: Meralco’s Amer rues lost chance at twice-to-beat advantage

MANILA, Philippines – Meralco point guard Baser Amer was
admittedly disappointed that the Bolts wasted an opportunity to
stay in the hunt for a twice-to-beat advantage in the 2018 PBA
Commissioner’s Cup playoffs with a loss to Rain or Shine last
Sunday.

The Bolts entered the game with a 7-3 win-loss record. A
victory would have kept them in the hunt for a Top 2 finish,
which carries with it a twice-to-beat bonus in the
quarterfinals.

Unfortunately for Meralco, they could not get it done against
the Elasto Painters. A slow start hampered the Bolts, and
though they were able to make a comeback, their free throw woes
doomed them in the endgame. 

Rain or Shine hacked out a 106-99 win in overtime that secured
the No. 1 seed in their favor, while ensuring that Meralco will
be playing in a best-of-3 series in the quarterfinals.

“Sayang, siyempre,” said Amer, who spurred Meralco’s comeback
by scoring 13 of his 19 points in the third quarter. “Sayang.”

Amer lamented their poor start and missed free throws, for
which he was not blameless. The usually steady guard shockingly
missed two charities with 5:40 left and the game tied at 94 – a
tough outcome for a player who shoots 78% from the stripe.

He made only two of his five attempts from the line. Meralco,
as a team, took a whopping 38 free throws and missed 18 of
them. 

“Nakahabol kami ng second half, kaso marami kaming na-miss na
free throws,” said Amer. “Doon lang.”

With the result, Meralco ended the elimination round with a 7-4
win-loss record. They are already assured of a spot in the
quarterfinals, although their opponent in the best-of-3 series
has yet to be determined.

For Amer, they have to shrug off the thoughts of the chances
that they wasted in their failed comeback attempt against Rain
or Shine, and focus instead on their playoff campaign.

“Nangyari na,” he said of the loss. “Move on, at focus na lang
sa best-of-3, kung sino man ‘yung matapat sa amin. May two
weeks pa naman na break, so magpapakundisyon kami, paghahandaan
naming kung sino man ‘yung matapat sa amin.”

What’s for sure is that the Bolts need to learn from the
mistakes that they committed against Rain or Shine, as well as
against TNT KaTropa in their previous contest. Amer is hopeful
that they can regain the form that carried them to a four-game
winning streak midway through the conference.

“‘Yung mga mali namin noong last two games, dapat going into
playoffs, hindi na namin madala,” said the point guard. “‘Yun,
move on na lang, tapos back to practice, itama ang mga mali.”

“Good thing, ‘di pa kami laglag sa playoffs,” Amer also noted.
“Best-of-3, focus kami doon kung sino man matapat sa amin.
Paghahandaan namin.”

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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