Amer delivers endgame showcase as Meralco comes back to defeat NLEX

Amer delivers endgame showcase as Meralco comes back to defeat NLEX

Allen Durham's defensive gem in the end saved Baser Amer's heroics. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Baser Amer was just 1-of-7 from beyond the arc entering the final minute of Meralco's PBA Governors' Cup match against NLEX at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Despite that, Chris Newsome put his trust on Amer when he found him wide open from the left wing.

Amer did not disappoint.

"The Hammer" dropped the game-winning shot from downtown as the Bolts fought back to nose out the Road Warriors, 108-105, on Sunday night.

Amer shot the go-ahead triple with 13 seconds left as Meralco fought back from 16 points down earlier in the fourth to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive.

Banking on a 41-point third quarter outburst, NLEX opened an 82-66 lead with 11:42 to play in the game and was holding a 14-point cushion with 7:09 left.

But behind Allen Durham, the Bolts clawed to within four, 89-93, with 5:05 to go, scoring all but three points in their 10-0 run. The other three came from Amer with his first made triple of the game.

The Road Warriors still kept afloat and held on to a 105-99 cushion with one hundred seconds left.

But a Reynel Hugnatan triple sparked Meralco's game-ending 9-0 run highlighted by Amer's endgame heroics.

Amer drove through the middle and scored a teardrop in while forcing Aaron Fuller's sixth foul. Amer made the bonus free throw in to tie the game at 105-all.

Hugnatan then missed in his first shot at giving the Bolts the lead, but Amer skied high for the loose ball to preserve their possession.

Amer then drained the game-winner after their solid ball movement.

Newsome then stole the ball from Juami Tiongson, giving Durham an opportunity to seal the win.

However, Durham both his free throws off a Larry Fonacier, giving NLEX one last crack to force overtime.

Durham made up for his botched charities by his game-saving block on Tiongson's three-point attempt before the buzzer sounded.

Durham finished with 36 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks for Meralco, which moved up to 2-6.

Amer added 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Fuller finished 31 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and two blocks for NLEX, which fell to 4-5.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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