PBA: Meralco's Newsome shrugs off big miss in regulation, takes charge in OT

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2020 04:23 PM

Meralco's Chris Newsome scored 8 of his 23 points in overtime against Magnolia. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA, Philippines -- Meralco's Chris Newsome had the ball in his hands at the end of regulation with some 11 seconds to go, with a chance to give the Bolts a win over Magnolia.

He tried to shake off his defenders, but his awkward, off-balanced jumper hit the iron as time expired, sending their 2020 PBA Philippine Cup game to overtime with the score knotted at 94.

It was the first overtime game of the PBA bubble.

"We had a really good chance to win in regulation. We missed a foul shot and then we committed a foul that gave them two foul shots to tie the game," noted Meralco head coach Norman Black afterwards.

But Black told his players not to get too down on themselves after missing their opportunity.

"I told the players during that next time out, in between the quarters, in overtime that, hey, we're in overtime. We still have a chance to win the game, so let's just go out and win it," he said.

"Let's not worry about what just happened. Let's just focus on what's in front of us," he added.

Newsome, a former PBA Rookie of the Year, took his coach's words to heart and used the overtime period to make up for his miss at the end of the fourth period.

He went 3-of-3 from the field in OT, hitting the go-ahead three-pointer that pushed the Bolts ahead for good, 102-100, with two minutes to play, as well as the dagger jumper with nine seconds left that made it 107-104.

The Bolts went on to win, 109-104, with Newsome scoring a team-high 23 points along with seven rebounds and six assists.

"My mind wasn't anywhere but at the moment at hand," Newsome said after the game. "I just tried to focus on staying present and dealing with the situation at hand, not really thinking about what happened before or after."

Newsome, who is averaging 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the All-Filipino Cup, also gave full credit to his teammates, particularly rookie Aaron Black and sophomore guard Trevis Jackson for their big plays late.

Jackson scored all 10 of his points in the fourth period to help Meralco come back from a 10-point deficit, and Black nailed a crucial triple in the overtime period.

"It was a great team effort," said Newsome.

The win gave Meralco a 2-2 record in the conference, putting them in the middle of the standings. It was also a bounce back victory for the Bolts after they suffered a huge loss to Barangay Ginebra in their previous assignment.

"We lost our last game against Ginebra. We definitely wanted to come out with more energy," said Newsome. "We just wanted to come out, play with a lot of energy, play with a lot of heart, and try to do anything to get a win today."