PBA Philippine Cup

Newsome shines late as Meralco escapes San Miguel in Game 3 thriller

Delfin Dioquino

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Newsome shines late as Meralco escapes San Miguel in Game 3 thriller
Chris Newsome saves the day for Meralco with key buckets down the stretch as the Bolts nail a 2-1 lead against San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup finals

MANILA, Philippines – Meralco regained the upper hand in the PBA Philippine Cup finals after pulling off a 93-89 escape act against San Miguel in Game 3 at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, June 9.

Chris Newsome saved the day with key buckets down the stretch and finished with 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks as the Bolts nailed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Beermen led 89-88 with under a minute left before Newsome went on a personal 5-0 run off a triple and a pair of free throws to help Meralco move within two victories of their first-ever PBA championship.

Flaunting its vaunted defense, Meralco then put the clamps on San Miguel in the final 10 seconds as the Beermen missed all of their last three field goals, failing to breach the 90-point plateau for the second time in the finals.

Raymond Almazan stepped up for the Bolts with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Bong Quinto added 16 points and 6 rebounds.

Mo Tautuaa paced the Beermen with 19 points and CJ Perez put up 18 points, albeit on a poor 6-of-19 clip from the field. 

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Wary of history repeating, Newsome, Meralco stay cautious after seizing 2-1 lead vs San Miguel

Wary of history repeating, Newsome, Meralco stay cautious after seizing 2-1 lead vs San Miguel
Fourth quarter
  • FINAL: Meralco with a string of defensive stops as it holds on to a 93-89 win
  • MERALCO 93-89: Chris Newsome perfect at the stripe
  • MERALCO 91-89: Chris Newsome corner three is good with 34 seconds left
  • SAN MIGUEL 89-88: June Mar Fajardo 2/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 88-87: CJ Perez scoop layup
  • MERALCO 88-85: June Mar Fajardo with the free throw split
  • MERALCO 88-84: Bong Quinto for three after a Chris Newsome stop
  • MERALCO 85-84: CJ Perez 1/2 at the stripe
  • MERALCO 85-83: Chris Newsome sinks the tough jumper
  • 83-83: Raymond Almazan short stab
  • SAN MIGUEL 83-81: CJ Perez triple
  • MERALCO 81-80: Chris Newsome 2/2 at the line
  • SAN MIGUEL 80-79: Marcio Lassiter with his second trey of the period
  • MERALCO 79-77: Cliff Hodge again
  • 77-77: June Mar Fajardo scores
  • MERALCO 77-75: Cliff Hodge putback
  • 75-75: CJ Perez lays it in plus the foul
  • MERALCO 75-73: Marcio Lassiter left wide open for the long bomb
  • MERALCO 75-70: Raymond Almazan again
  • MERALCO 73-70: Raymond Almazan inside
Third quarter
  • END OF 3Q: Not one team giving an inch as Meralco enters the final frame up 71-70
  • MERALCO 71-70: Chris Banchero answers
  • SAN MIGUEL 70-69: Jeron Teng short stab
  • MERALCO 69-58: Allein Maliksi splits
  • 68-68: Allein Maliksi 2/2 with his foul shots
  • SAN MIGUEL 68-66: Don Trollano with another split
  • SAN MIGUEL 67-66: Don Trollano 1/2 with his free throws
  • 66-66: Chris Newsome flushes home the fast break dunk off a steal
  • SAN MIGUEL 66-64: Chris Newsome hits his charity shots
  • SAN MIGUEL 66-62: Chris Newsome retaliates with his own trey
  • SAN MIGUEL 66-59: Marcio Lassiter for three
  • SAN MIGUEL 63-59: CJ Perez 1/2 at the line, but he gets his own miss
  • SAN MIGUEL 62-59: CJ Perez knocks down his foul shots
  • SAN MIGUEL 60-59: Mo Tautuaa continues to do damage
  • MERALCO 59-58: Chris Newsome drives
  • SAN MIGUEL 58-57: June Mar Fajardo splits his free throws
  • 57-57: Norbert Torres reverse layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 57-55: Raymond Almazan from deep
  • SAN MIGUEL 57-52: CJ Perez wide open on the fast break
  • SAN MIGUEL 55-52: Mo Tautuaa inside
  • SAN MIGUEL 53-52: Chris Banchero also perfect at the line
  • SAN MIGUEL 53-50: Chris Newsome 2/2 at the stripe
  • SAN MIGUEL 53-48: Mo Tautuaa for three
  • SAN MIGUEL 50-48: CJ Perez jumper is good
  • 48-48: Mo Tautuaa opens the second-half scoring
Second quarter
  • HALFTIME: Chris Newsome blocks CJ Perez to preserve a 48-46 lead for Meralco
  • MERALCO 48-46: Marcio Lassiter makes the technical free throw
  • MERALCO 48-45: Chris Newsome joins the three-point party
  • 45-45: Chris Banchero answers with his own long bomb
  • SAN MIGUEL 45-42: Jeron Teng with another trey
  • 42-42: Cliff Hodge with the offensive rebound and the reverse layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 42-40: Allein Maliksi sinks the baseline jumper
  • SAN MIGUEL 42-38: Don Trollano for three
  • SAN MIGUEL 39-38: Cliff Hodge attacks foul-plagued June Mar Fajardo
  • SAN MIGUEL 39-36: Jeron Teng back-to-back baskets
  • SAN MIGUEL 37-36: Chris Newsome with his first bucket plus the foul
  • SAN MIGUEL 37-34: Jeron Teng from downtown
  • 34-34: Bong Quinto slices through the San Miguel defense
  • SAN MIGUEL 34-32: June Mar Fajardo drains his two foul shots
  • 32-32: Bong Quinto 1/2 at the line
  • SAN MIGUEL 32-31: A Mo Tautuaa free throw give the Beermen their first lead
  • 31-31: Jericho Cruz wide open for the corner trey
  • MERALCO 31-28: Mo Tautuaa again
  • MERALCO 31-26: Bong Quinto buries his second triple
  • MERALCO 28-26: Mo Tautuaa with another strong attack
First quarter
  • END OF 1Q: Meralco grabs a 28-24 lead behind 8 points from Raymond Almazan
  • MERALCO 28-24: Mo Tautuaa soars for the layup
  • MERALCO 28-22: Jericho Cruz makes his free throws
  • MERALCO 28-20: Allein Maliksi passes up on the shot, Raymond Almazan
  • MERALCO 26-20: Don Trollano 2/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 26-18: Allein Maliksi buries the trey
  • MERALCO 23-18: Don Trollano gets past two Meralco defenders for the layup
  • MERALCO 23-16: Cliff Hodge from the baseline
  • MERALCO 21-16: Mo Tautuaa from deep
  • MERALCO 21-13: Raymond Almazan exposes the mismatch for another bucket
  • MERALCO 19-13: Bong Quinto for three
  • MERALCO 16-13: Jericho Cruz attacks
  • MERALCO 16-11: Brandon Bates sinks his charity shots
  • MERALCO 14-11: Don Trollano long two
  • MERALCO 14-9: Chris Newsome 1/2 at the stripe
  • MERALCO 13-9: Bong Quinto finishes the fast break off a neat pass from Chris Banchero
  • MERALCO 11-9: Chris Banchero splits his free throws
  • MERALCO 10-9: June Mar Fajardo shrugs off the double team for the one-hander
  • MERALCO 10-7: CJ Perez and-one
  • MERALCO 10-4: Kyle Pascual hits
  • MERALCO 8-4: Raymond Almazan makes two foul shots
  • MERALCO 6-4: Bong Quinto jumper is good
  • 4-4: June Mar Fajardo ices his freebies
  • MERALCO 4-2: Chris Banchero easy deuce
  • 2-2: Marcio Lassiter 2/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 2-0: Raymond Almazan cleans up his own miss
  • SAN MIGUEL: CJ Perez, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Rodney Brondial, Chris Ross
  • MERALCO: Bong Quinto, Cliff Hodge, Raymond Almazan, Cliff Newsome, Chris Banchero

It’s shaping to be an unpredictable series.

After Meralco hacked out a Game 1 shocker, San Miguel Beer pulled one of its own, rising from a four-point deficit in the dying seconds of Game 2 to avoid a 0-2 hole.

With the series all even, San Miguel Beer and Meralco dispute the upper hand in Game 3 of the best-of-seven finals battle of the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday, June 9, at the Araneta Coliseum.

While the Beermen headed into the title round heavily favored with a star-studded cast led by June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez, the Bolts – a first-time All-Filipino finalist – showed they can keep up with the defending champions behind Chris Newsome, Chris Banchero, Bong Quinto, and Allein Maliksi. 

But in a tight series, the Beermen showed how their championship experience and poise could be be pivotal, fully displaying them in Game 2 where they incredibly turned the game around with clutch triples from Perez and Marcio Lassiter in the last 25 seconds.

But expect the Bolts, who have played the role of gutsy underdogs to the hilt, to come out fighting again with arguably their best all-Filipino crew yet. 

Can Meralco show again that it’s equipped to play spoiler? Or can San Miguel fully reclaim its winning rhythm?

Game time is 6:15 pm. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.