MANILA, Philippines -- After a slow start in the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga, the Meralco Bolts and the Alaska Aces have sprung back to life behind the steady showing of a veteran guard and a promising rookie big man.
The Bolts flipped the switch after a 1-2 start, having won back-to-back games in the PBA Philippine Cup now behind the hot hands of Chris Newsome.
The Aces, meanwhile, clawed out of a 0-2 hole as Barkley Eboña helped them turn the team's fortunes around.
Newsome normed 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.5 blocks in a superb week for the Bolts, who scored big wins over Magnolia and NLEX to climb to the middle of the standings with a 3-2 win-loss record.
His all-around play earned Newsome the Cignal TV-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period Oct. 19-26. He is the second player to gain the honor inside the bubble after TNT's Roger Pogoy.
Eboña, Alaska's rookie out of Far Eastern University, averaged 17.33 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.0 block in their past three games to earn Rookie of the Week honors.
Both Newsome and Ebona were voted unanimously for the weekly citation given by members of the media covering the PBA beat.
Newsome put up 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two blocks in Meralco's win over Magnolia, before following it up with an 18-6-6 statsline in the Bolts' 101-92 triumph over NLEX.
For his part, the 6-foot-6 Eboña showed a glimpse of his true potential following a breakout week for the Aces, who went 2-1 during that weeklong stretch for an even 3-3 record. He erupted for a career-high 24 points on a near-perfect 10-of-11 shooting in Alaska's 120-82 rout of Blackwater.
Even in Alaska's 92-88 setback to San Miguel, Eboña still impressed by scoring 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting along with five rebounds, a steal and a block in just 21 minutes of play.