MANILA, Philippines – Chris Newsome’s second outing in the Philippine Basketball Association ended earlier than he would’ve expected after being ejected in the second quarter of the Meralco Bolts’ Philippine Cup loss to Blackwater Elite on Wednesday, November 4.
Newsome, who was named to the UAAP Mythical Team last season as part of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, drove to the rim, meeting Blackwater guard Keith Agovida underneath before a whistle was blown.
Agovida emerged clutching his forehead in pain, and replays show that Newsome’s right elbow struck the defender’s face after Newsome contorted his body to the left in midair.
Newsome was promptly ejected, though he insists he did not intend to throw an elbow at Agovida.
“I went up and he jumped, and any time you jump and someone’s going to block you, your first instinct is to protect the ball,” said Newsome, who finished with 7 points on 3/4 shooting, to go along with two rebounds, two assists and one turnover in 14:11 minutes playing time. “I basically just went from my right to my left and just happened to hit his face.”
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Newsome, who is expected to stake his claim on this season’s Rookie of the Year plum, says his goal isn’t to win awards, but to win games.
“There’s a lot of other things that come into play when getting those awards. I feel like it shouldn’t be judged off of one play,” said Newsome, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft. “If that’s how it is, then that’s how it is. Regardless, I’m still going to play hard. I’m still going to play my game.”
While players in the past have been suspended and fined for flagrant two fouls, a 2013 league update defining such a foul as “unnecessary and excessive contact” did not outline specific sanctions for flagrant fouls.
Blackwater held on to defeat Meralco, 92-90, after a Carlo Lastimosa floater in the lane with one second to play. Blackwater raises its record to 1-2 while Meralco remains winless at 0-2. – with reports from Jane Bracher/Rappler.com
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