Chris Newsome’s loyalty pays off as he gets Gilas’ Asian Games roster spot
MANILA, Philippines—During the 2023 Fiba World Cup, Chris Newsome’s popularity grew a ton more due to his loyalty to Gilas Pilipinas.
Newsome continued to show his support for the national team despite not being included in the final lineup. He even actively served as Jordan Clarkson’s ball boy during the latter’s pre-game shooting routines.
For him, it was all about serving as an example for the future generation of Gilas players.
“I hope I showed that to the fans out there that you don’t need to be on the court to make an impact. You can still be there for the team vocally to show your support and cheer on,” Newsome said during Gilas’ open training at Philsports Arena on Thursday.
“Of course, I wanted to be on the lineup but it’s tough, for the coaching staff and for everyone.”
Newsome was part of erstwhile coach Chot Reyes’ “deepest cuts”–which included Calvin Oftana, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Thirdy Ravena–for the recently concluded Fiba World Cup.
Instead of sulking, though, Newsome showed up in street clothes every time on the Gilas’ bench.
“I’m still serving my time. Like I told SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) at the beginning of my eligibility for Gilas. Whenever you need me, whenever you call me, I’ll be there.”
Now, though, Newsome has a clear spot in the roster once more after having played for the Philippines in its gold medal run in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
It will be another opportunity that Newsome won’t take for granted, especially since it may be gone in “the blink of an eye.”
“Whenever you get to put on this jersey, you give it everything you have. You never want to take an opportunity for granted because it could be gone in the blink of an eye.”
“It’s an honor to wear this jersey and to be able to suit up and represent the country. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of.”