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Baser Amer sinks floater to lift Blackwater past Meralco

The Blackwater Bossing continued their remarkable turnaround, this time beating the Meralco Bolts, 90-89, in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Thursday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Bossing guard Baser Amer landed the biggest blow as he sank the game-winning floater with 1.2 seconds remaining in the thrilling match. Down one after Chris Newsome canned a short stepback jumper, Amer got the ball after a timeout, drove to his right before rising up and sank a high-looping jumper that shoved Blackwater into the lead.

With no timeouts remaining, Newsome was forced to heave a prayer from halfcourt that wasn’t answered, giving Blackwater their fourth win in five games in what is the franchise’s best start in its short stint in the PBA.

Blackwater head coach Ariel Vanguardia said the victory is a huge one for his team, especially as it came against a battle-tested Bolts squad.

“I don’t want to take the credit away from the boys. That’s a semifinal, finals team that we’ve faced head on. They led in the beginning. We caught up. We led two times by double digits. They caught up. They are very disciplined, and they are very hard to stop. It came down to the last possession,” said Vanguardia.

It was a fitting finale to what was an exciting game that saw four lead changes in the last minute. Down by 10, 73-83, Meralco rallied and uncorked a 14-2 run sparked by Bong Quinto’s 10 points to seize the advantage, 87-85.

However, Blackwater guard JV Casio hit a tough triple from the left wing to give the Bossing back the lead before Newsome’s jumper allowed Meralco to regain it, setting the stage for Amer’s heroics.

Rookie big man Renato Ular continued his incredible play in the big league, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 boards. Casio also had 19 while Rey Suerte and Rashawn McCarthy pitched in 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Newsome had 23 points, six rebounds, and six assists for Meralco, which dropped to an even 3-3. Bong Quinto added 18 points and eight assists.

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