Jun 12, 2018

Being part of Gilas keeps Baser Amer at his best

WITHOUT fanfare, Baser Amer practiced with Gilas Pilipinas for the second straight week as part of the team's training pool for the third window of the FIBA World Cup qualifier.

But that's the way the Meralco guard likes the way things are - low key and unassuming just like the way he is as a player and as a person.

Amer said being tapped as part of the national training pool is in itself an achievement.

Ending up being named as member of the final roster for the June 29 to July 2 window would merely be a bonus for him.

"So happy na naging part ako ng Gilas," he said after practice Monday night at the Meralco gym. "Replacement yata ako, and hindi pa sure na ma lineup. Pagtatrabahuhan pa iyon."

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The San Beda alumnus is indeed, a substitute player tapped by the Gilas coaching staff to fortify the team's back court crippled by the sudden exit of Kiefer Ravena, who is barred to play in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments for the next 18 months for failing a drug test, and Kevin Alas, out with an ACL injury.

While Amer had the opportunity to be part of a previous Gilas team that competed and won gold in the Southeast Asian Games, he has yet to suit up and represent the country in a tournament as competitive as the World Cup qualifier.

The 25-year-old Davao native said joining and practicing with the Gilas training pool alone is already a wealth of an experience for a young player as he is.

"Kasi dagdag kaalaman yun sa akin," Amer stressed. "Doon ako mag grow as a player kasi magagaling ang mga players (na kasama ko) at may mga experience na."

Becoming the newest addition to the Gilas pool likewise helps Amer to be at his best in every Meralco game in the ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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"Extra motivation sa akin yun kasi dapat every game maganda ang pinapakita mo para hindi naman masabing nagkamali ang mga coaches sa pagkuha sa iyo," he said.

Gilas plays Chinese Taipei in Taiwan on June 29 before hosting powerhouse Australia at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on July 2 for the third window of the qualifier.

The Philippines currently ranks second behind the unbeaten Boomers (4-0) at 3-1 in Group B in the first round of the tournament. (GR)