MANILA, Philippines -- Meralco captain Chris Newsome earned Player of the Week honors after guiding the Bolts through a difficult week in their campaign in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
The Bolts earned a spot in the conference quarterfinals amid tough circumstances, as they played three powerhouses -- Barangay Ginebra, Magnolia, and San Miguel -- in a week-long stretch with their head coach, Norman Black, still in the United States.
With Black in mourning after his mother passed away, it was Newsome and deputy coach Luigi Trillo who helped steady the ship for Meralco. Newsome did a little bit of everything for the Bolts as they improved their record to 6-4 and solidified their place in the top 6.
Newsome averaged 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, along with 1.3 steals in three games to earn the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honor for the period July 13-17.
In a hotly-contested race for the weekly honor, Newsome prevailed over Rain or Shine's Rey Nambatac and San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo following a close vote from among the men and women who regularly covers the PBA beat.
"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 former Rookie of the Year started the week with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in Meralco's 90-73 rout of Barangay Ginebra.
Against Magnolia, he delivered stat lines of 24-4-5-1-1 in a 97-88 overtime loss, before putting up 16 markers, five boards, and five dimes in the Bolts' thrilling 89-86 victory over San Miguel.
"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, however, deflected the credit to the entire Meralco team for displaying a valiant stand dedicated to coach Norman and teammate Aaron following a loss in their family.
"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," he added.
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