PBA: Amer delivers as Bolts win – Tempo – The Nation's Fastest Growing Newspaper – Tempo

Baser Amer and Bong Galanza scramble for the loose ball. (PBA Images)
by Jonas Terrado
Games Wednesday (Cuneta Astrodome)
4:30 p.m. – Alaska vs Columbian
7 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs NorthPort
Baser Amer drained a three-point shot with 13.6 seconds remaining as Meralco rallied from 16 down to stun NLEX, 108-105, last night that kept its fading quarterfinal hopes alive in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Amer scored the game’s final six points, including an open three from the left elbow as the Bolts finally found ways to prevail in the endgame after miserable defeats going back to the FIBA Asia Champions Cup to nail only their second victory in eight games this conference.
Import Allen Durham, who conspired with Amer in leading Meralco’s rally from 82-66 early in the fourth, swatted Juami Tiongson’s three-point attempt at the buzzer, triggering a spirited celebration by a team thirsty for a win.
It was Meralco’s first victory since opening the Governors’ Cup since 109-106 defeat of Columbian Dyip last Aug. 17 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“We’re struggling throughout the game, we’ve been struggling throughout the conference. But the players didn’t give up and kept fighting to keep our flickering hopes alive for the playoffs,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, who saw Durham scoring 36 points.
Endgame faltering has been the highlight of the Bolts’ frustrating showing in the season-ending tournament, a story that may end their streak of two consecutive finals appearances.
It was something Meralco also brought in the recent Champions Cup when it nearly beat Iran’s Petrochimi in the semifinals and South Korea’s SK Knights in a match for third when the Bolts failed to catch up in the end.
But the breaks finally went in Meralco’s way, with Amer finally producing his best game by making 17 of his 22 points in the payoff period.
His three-point play off NLEX import Aaron Fuller’s sixth and final four – a teardrop shot with 46.2 left – tied the score at 105-all. The Bolts placed Amer back on the bench for Anjo Caram for defensive purposes, a move that turned out to be a right call.
Caram forced Tiongson to commit a traveling infraction, giving the ball back to the Bolts.
Veteran Reynel Hugnatan missed a corner three, but Amer got the rebound and called for a timeout as he was about to fall near referee Jerry Narandan on the baseline.
Lady Luck kept favoring Meralco despite the referees decision to placed the inbound on the other side of the court, much to chagrin of the Bolts bench as Amer made the decisive three that ended the dryspell.
Fuller had 31 points but the Road Warriors absorbed their third straight defeat, dropping to eighth position at 4-5.
The scores:
Meralco 108 – Durham 36, Amer 22, Newsome 14, Hugnatan 12, Hodge 10, Caram 8, Lanete 2, Salva 2, Jamito 2, Faundo 0, Atkins 0, Tolomia 0.
NLEX 105 – Fuller 31, Fonacier 21, Quinahan 17, Ighalo 9, Galanza 6, Tallo 5, Marcelo 4, Taulava 3, Rios 3, Soyud 2, Baguio 2, Paniamogan 2, Tiongson 0, Monfort 0.
Quarters: 13-17, 36-39, 66-80, 108-105
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