PBA Player of the Week Chris Newsome boosts Meralco during crucial stretch
MANILA, Philippines—Facing the gauntlet, Meralco almost came away scot-free largely due to the efforts of Chris Newsome.
The star guard anchored the Bolts during a critical stretch in their Philippine Cup campaign.
Pitted against rivals Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel Beer and Magnolia, Meralco went 2-1 thanks to Newsome who averaged 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals that earned him the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honor.
“It’s just a part of the challenge for us to have this type of schedule. It’s not something we look down on but something we looked at as a challenge. That’s something that not every team has to go through,” said Newsome.
The 31-year-old Newsome put up 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals to lead the Bolts to a 90-73 rout of Ginebra.
He also shone in a pulsating 89-86 victory over San Miguel with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The only blemish in the Bolts’ last three games was a 97-88 loss to Magnolia in overtime where Newsome had 24 points, four rebounds, five assists with one steal and a block to boot.
“We feel if we’re capable of getting through that together, then we’ll be prepared come playoff time, and I think that’s exactly what this last stretch did. It got us ready for the playoffs,” Newsome said.
Meralco, which didn’t have head coach Norman Black, clinched a spot in the quarterfinals after improving to 6-4. Black is in the United States after the passing of his mother last week.
“You have to give credit to this whole team because we keep each other going. It doesn’t matter who’s scoring as long as we get the win. But when we play together, we realize we’re capable of doing great things. That’s what you saw during this stretch,” Newsome added.