Meralco has sealed the top playoffs berth in the 2017 PBA Governnors’ Cup, and wingman Chris Newsome is mainly to thank for the Bolts’ recent romp.
In the team’s last two outings, Newsome churned out all-around performances to post averages of 21 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.0 steal in Meralco’s beating of Globalport and grand slam-seeking San Miguel Beer and finish the elimination round with a 9-2 win-loss slate.
Newsome, the 2016 PBA Rookie of the Year, fired 28 points, grabbed seven boards, and dished out five assists in the Bolts’ 100-93 disposal of the Batang Pier last September 22. Two days later, the 27-year-old went 7-of-10 from the floor and finished with 14 points, six assists, and four rebounds as Meralco fashioned out a come-from-behind victory over SMB, 104-101.
With his electrifying on-court showing, Newsome gets the nod as the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of September 18-24, besting the likes of Star veteran guards Mark Barroca and PJ Simon, and Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan, Maverick Ahanmisi and Don Trollano for the citation.
The Bolts, enjoying a twice-to-beat edge, only need to win once on Tuesday, September 26, when they clash with Blackwater Elite, seeded eighth, to advance to the semifinals.