Baser Amer has been under the radar these days. It was as if he's not one of the top high school recruits from the class of 2011 ( along with Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Kevin Ferrer, etc.), but before the people forget who he was, he seized the moment to step up in their game against the very inspired College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers yesterday at the Arena in San Juan. He led the San Red Lions in beating the CSB Blazers via 79-78. The game was very close right from the get go. The CSB Blazers didn't play like they are win-less against the league leading San Beda Red Lions.
To prove that this game was close, the score was 69-67 in the last 6 minutes of the 4th quarter. There were several lead changes that happened in the fourth quarter but all of a sudden, Baser Amer suddenly went hot. He over powered CSB. He made lay-ups after lay-ups and outside shots after outside shots. I think he made 8 out of his 11 points in the 4th quarter which was highlighted by a gorgeous drop pass to one of the Semerad twins. He's the reason why San Beda was able to increase their output to 79 from 68 en route to beating CSB via 79-78. That's how scary Amer is. He can score a lot if he wants to. Any time, any where.
From the 1st quarter up to the 4th quarter the CSB Blazers implemented a 2-3 zone defense that proved to be effective against the Garvo Lanete and Dave Marcelo. They were able to stifle those two leaders of San Beda. Garvo missed several shots, in fact it's one of the worsts games that he had. While those two were struggling, the other big man of San Beda, Kyle Pascual did his best to patch up the errors of his struggling teammates. He grabbed many rebounds and most importantly he kept the Red Lions afloat amidst their dry spell. From the first quarter up to the 4th quarter it was him who scored a lot for his team. All in all he had 16 points while Garvo Lanete only had 11 points because of poor shooting. Lanete only made 5 out of 21 shots in this game.
CSB banked on their well balance offense all throughout this game. Carlo Lastimosa, the reigning NCAA Rookie of the Year led his team in scoring. He also showed his great passing skills. He was able to penetrate the defense of San Beda and most of the time he was successful in setting his teammates up for uncontested lay-ups. Grey, McCoy, Taha and Romero were the usual beneficiaries of those nice passes coming from Carlo Lastimosa. Grey and Taha combined for 24 points and 11 huge rebounds. CSB also visited the free throw line quite often in this game because of their aggressiveness in the paint. Take note, they had 34 trips to the 15th parallel compared to San Beda's 18 trips. The Blazers' team work also helped them make this game close up to the 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter, the excitement escalated.
Here's what happened in the last few minutes of the very decisive 4th quarter courtesy of Inboundpass.com:
A baseline drive by Amer was responded to by another split by Lastimosa, to make trim the gap to 72-71, but after two missed charities by Romero, Amer nailed another triple with four minutes left, his third of the quarter, to cushion San Beda’s advantage, 75-71. Anton Altamirano tried to get it back with a triple of his own, but missed, before Amer found Kyle Pascual for a layup to give San Beda what looked like a commanding 77-71 lead. Drawing energy from their raucous crowd, the Blazers struck back with a 7-2 run that got them to within a point, 79-78. Off a timeout, CSB fouled until it reached the penalty situation. Amer found himself at the line with 8.9 seconds left, and the pressure finally got to the blue chipper as he missed both charities. Barrelling down the lane from the right wing, Lastimosa threw up a runner that beat the buzzer but didn’t connect, as a joyous San Beda team celebrated their good fortune.
Amer missed both of his free throws but still you can't deny that he's the hero of this game. He had 11 points in this game. Most of it came in the 4th quarter while CSB was making a run. He was like a fire extinguisher in this game. They won this game primarily because of him.
Here are the scores from Inboundpass.com:
San Beda 79 – K. Pascual 16, Lanete 12, Amer 11, A. Semerad 8, Caram 8, Marcelo 7, J. Pascual 7, de la Rosa 5, D. Semerad 3, Sorela 2, Lim 0, Villahermosa 0, Pontejos 0
CSB 78 – Lastimosa 19, Grey 13, Taha 11, Sinco 10, McCoy 8, Romero 6, de la Paz 5, Altamirano 4, Deles 2, Tan 0
Quarter scoring: 21-16, 41-38, 60-57, 79-78