AMER TIME! Baser carries Meralco to semis after knocking out Blackwater
Paul Lintag on Sep 28, 2017 09:18 PM
Struggling all game long, Meralco flipped the switched in the fourth period behind Baser Amer to arrange a best-of-five showdown with no. 4 Star in the next round.
For one half, Meralco finally played like a no. 1 seed. And it was more than enough.
The Bolts moved on to the semifinals of the 2017 Governors' Cup after taking care of no. 8 Blackwater, 104-96, in a knockout game Thursday at the Big Dome.
Struggling all game long, Meralco flipped the switched in the fourth period to arrange a best-of-five showdown with no. 4 Star in the next round.
Baser Amer was the star of the show for the Bolts as the second-year guard fired 22 points in the second half to lead Meralco's comeback from a 12-point deficit.
With the Elite still in control early in the fourth, Amer scored eight points during an 11-0 Meralco run that finally turned the tide on favor of the Bolts. From then on, import Allen Durham and veteran Jared Dillinger took turns in hitting crucial shots as the no. 1 team of the season-ending conference barely avoided a historic upset.
Amer dropped 31 points, one shy of his career high, to go along with four rebouds in three assists. He shot 64.7 percent from the field in an incredible scoring performance.
Durham once again flirted with a triple double despite a late ankle injury as he powered through for 18 points, 20 rebounds, and nine assists. Garvo Lanete added 17 while Dillinger posted 15, all in the second half.
"My guys showed a lot of heart in this game. We were down at halftime and we had to find direction for the team," head coach Norman Black said.
Behind a 21-point second-quarter explosion from Henry Walker, Blackwater took a 52-40 lead at the break and had all momentum.
"We couldn't do anything right defensively or offensively and we were having a hard time defending Walker," Black said.
"[We tried] to stay as calm as possible, if you can do that at halftime when we were getting beat up pretty badly," he added.
Fresh from a 92-91 upset two days ago to force this sudden death, the Elite were taking it to the Bolts early with Walker at the lead.
However, once Meralco put the pressure on Walker defensively in the second half, the entire Blackwater offense crumbled slowly but surely.
Walker finished with 34 points but only seven came in the second half. He was limited to only two points in the final 12 minutes. JP Erram dropped 16 but he was also only limited to two points in the fourth period.
MERALCO 104 – Amer 31, Durham 18, Lanete 17, Dillinger 15, De Ocampo 14, Newsome 7, Hodge 2, Tolomia 0, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0, Nabong 0.
BLACKWATER 96 – Walker 34, Erram 18, DiGregorio 11, Maliksi 10, Canaleta 6, Marcelo 6, Belo 5, Sumang 4, Pinto 2.
Quarers: 22-22; 52-40; 77-73; 104-96.
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