MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts have signed their first round draft pick Chris Newsome to a 3-year contract, his agent Charlie Dy and team manager Paolo Trillo confirmed to Rappler on Wednesday, August 26.
Dy also took to social media to announce the transaction, even posting an image of what looks like Newsome in the Meralco office with his new contract.
Newsome, who played two years with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, was taken with the fourth pick in the 2015 PBA Draft last Sunday, August 23.
The 6-foot-2 Filipino-American standout averaged 14.1 points, 7.8 boards, and 2.6 assists a game with in the UAAP in 2014.
Trillo told Rappler that Meralco isn’t currently looking at making any deals.
“We’re happy with the composition of our roster right now,” he said.
The Bolts other first round pick, Baser Amer, has yet to sign his first PBA contract with Meralco.
Amer, taken seventh overall in the draft, is currently nursing a shoulder injury but plans to come back this NCAA season as he tries to lead the San Beda Red Lions to a sixth straight championship.
Trillo says the Bolts are still clarifying the process behind signing a player who’s still in the NCAA, seeing as they don’t want Amer to end up ineligible in the collegiate league due to being considered a professional basketball player after he signs his deal.
“We have every intention of signing him,” Trillo said.
Meralco head coach Norman Black is happy with the two picks his team wound up with.
“So, we wanted to try to take care of other weaknesses, which we felt were at the shooting guard and at the point guard, so that’s what we really tried to do at this draft: we tried to strengthen our positions at shooting guard and point guard,” said the 11-time PBA head coach.
(READ: Chris Newsome makes Meralco more versatile, says Norman Black)
“We can switch most pick-and-rolls with him, defensively, and offensively, he can play the point,” Black said about Newsome.
“He can play the shooting guard, so he gives us a lot of versatility, he gives us a lot of athleticism, he gives us an opportunity to get out and run and push the basketball, so we’re very, very happy that we were able to get him in the draft.”
“In drafting Amer, it just gives us a very quality young point guard coming into the team,” he later added about his team’s other pick up. – Rappler.com
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