Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track
MANILA, Philippines—It was another disappointing end to what has become a lopsided trilogy for Meralco and Chris Newsome.
For the past four years, the Bolts faced Barangay Ginebra in the finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup three times and all three times it ended with the Gin Kings lifting the big trophy.
It was heartbreaking to see the Bolts, a proud team seeking their first title in franchise history, always fall short against a familiar foe but Chris Newsome is ready to put the past behind and look forward to a promising future.
And he got a good source of inspiration from a worthy competitor.
“He (Justin Brownlee) was telling me ‘man, you’re an incredible player, you’re an incredible guy,’ it’s just unfortunate how things have to end,” said Newsome, who had 13 points, five rebounds, and five assists in Game 5.
“He added that I ‘shouldn’t get distracted by this because your potential is limitless.’”
“Hearing that from somebody like Justin Brownlee, it was heartfelt. I took it to heart. He’s such a great player and probably one of the greatest imports I’ve ever played against. From him to tell me something like that meant a lot.”
Newsome has now set his sights on helping the Bolts end their drought in a conference where they have struggled the most.
“Right now the only thing on my mind is try to get an All-Filipino playoff appearance for Meralco, I think that’s the next one because All-Filipino is usually the conference we don’t do so well,” said Newsome.
“My target is set on that, try to get Meralco to an All-Filipino playoff.”
Meralco always lacked the manpower to contend in the Philippine Cup with an overall record of 11-33 from the last five seasons where the Bolts fight for scraps at the bottom of the standings.
The team then filled its hole in the middle when it made a deal to acquire Raymond Almazan during the Commissioner’s Cup. But Almazan suffered a meniscal tear in his left knee in Game 3 finals and was forced to sit out Game 5.
“We’ll leave this one in the past and if the opportunity comes again to play in another finals, I hope I can get it that time,” said Newsome. “But until then, I’ll just keep working on my game.”
Newsome, though, wouldn’t head into the next Philippine Cup without a bit of inspiration.
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