PBA Governors' Cup

Black proven right as Newsome return powers Meralco resurgence

Delfin Dioquino
Black proven right as Newsome return powers Meralco resurgence

ADVANCING. Chris Newsome and Meralco outlast Magnolia to reach the final four.

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Chris Newsome and Meralco reach the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals, finding a semblance of redemption after a hapless run last conference where he helplessly watched the Bolts fail to reach the playoffs

MANILA, Philippines – It is hardly a surprise that Meralco has returned to title contention with Chris Newsome back on board.

Newsome and the Bolts reached the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup, finding a semblance of redemption after a hapless run last conference where the All-Star guard helplessly watched his team fail to reach the playoffs.

The Filipino-American star played just one game in the Commissioner’s Cup due to a calf injury as Meralco finished 10th, snapping a streak of five straight playoff appearances.

“It’s tough to just watch and be on the sidelines and just be a vocal leader. Of course, that wasn’t a feeling that we liked or enjoyed, not making the playoffs,” said Newsome.

“No one likes watching their team from the sidelines, especially whenever they need you in big games or they’re trying to make a playoff run.”

The former Ateneo ace made up for lost time as he averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1 steal in the elimination round to help the Bolts rack up a 7-4 card for the fourth seed, which came with a win-once bonus.

And with a semifinal berth on the line, Newsome did not disappoint, churning out a career-high 33 points on top of 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals in a 113-107 overtime win over Magnolia on Wednesday, March 22.

Delivering when it mattered most, Newsome dropped 10 points in the extra period as Meralco arranged a best-of-five semifinals battle with sister team TNT.

“At the beginning of this conference, we had a team meeting with the executives of Meralco. One thing that we talked about was the fact that when New comes back, things are going to change,” said Bolts coach Norman Black.

“We felt like we could continue to win again. We’ve been winning in this conference for the last four, five years. We felt we could do it again this year.

“It’s coming true. He’s back, we’re playing better. We’re giving ourselves a chance.”

It does not get any easier, though, for Meralco.

Awaiting the Bolts in the final four is a fearsome Tropang Giga side that has not lost with former NBA player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and rides on a blistering nine-game winning streak.

But Newsome is up to the challenge.

“Here we are getting another shot. Everybody’s healthy and hopefully everybody stays healthy in this next series so we can make a good run for the finals,” Newsome said. – 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.