Ateneo's Chris Newsome (11) puts up a shot past La Salle's Norbert Torres (6) in the UAAP Season 76 game between the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers last July 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles have nowhere to go but up after slumping to a 0-3 record to start the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament, according to forward Chris Newsome.
Newsome scored a career-high 27 points in 33 minutes of action against the De La Salle Green Archers, but the Blue Eagles lost 73-82 after squandering a double-digit lead at the half.
“Everybody of course is very sad that we lost,” Newsome said when asked about the mood in the Ateneo locker room. “But it’s still a long season, it’s just the third game of the season.”
“We gotta keep moving forward. We gotta learn from it and keep moving forward,” he added. “I mean, we’re 0-3, so the only way we can go is up.”
“If we lose another one, then of course we’d be really at the bottom but I feel that even then, everybody will be positive and everybody will keep moving forward,” he said.
Newsome has been a revelation for the Blue Eagles early in the season, as he used his athleticism and quick first step to repeatedly get to the basket against La Salle.
The Blue Eagles also needed every one of his 27 points as they are still missing the services of star guard Kiefer Ravena, who is still out due to an ankle injury.
“Personally, I’m happy that I was able to have a career-high against La Salle, but looking at the bigger picture, a loss is still a loss,” Newsome said. “It doesn’t feel good that I could do such a good job of scoring today, but we still come out with a loss.”
“In a way, it doesn’t really matter. It’s great because I showed what I can do, but at the end of the game, we’re 0-3,” he added.
Newsome said he wanted to step up in Ravena’s absence and was hoping that his teammates could follow him.
“I guess we just happened to fall short,” he said.
But Newsome stressed that the Blue Eagles are still confident that they can right the ship.
“We still have the confidence. We’re just trying to figure the little things out before it’s too late,” he said. “We’re gonna figure things out and come together as a team.”