AFTER winning the dunk contest in a recent charity game, high-flying Chris Newsome is already looking at the bigger picture.
The Ateneo swingman admitted he is looking forward to someday joining the PBA Slam Dunk contest and pitting his aerial repertoire against Justin Melton, Chris Ellis and other top pro dunkers.
“I’m actually looking forward to get into the dunk contest (in the PBA),” Newsome disclosed to Spin.ph days before the PBA holds the dunk contest during the All-Star Weekend in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. “Hopefully (in the near future).”
Newsome wowed the Sunday crowd at The Arena during the ‘Play 4 Coi’ charity game with his vicious slams, twice scoring a perfect 50 points while going up against Troy Rosario and Moustapha Arafat.
It was the first time the 6-foot-2 guard won a slam dunk contest here. He is tipped to be one of the top picks in the coming PBA Rookie Draft.
After Spin.ph posted videos of Newsome’s dunks, not a few expressed their belief he can give the pros a run for their money.
The Hapee stalwart was just too glad to hear about it.
“That’s good that at least people know that I have that ability. But there are a lot of good dunkers in the PBA like Chris Ellis and Justin Melton. Hopefully, one of these days I can compete with them,” said Newsome.
The Blue Eagles forward admitted it was the first time he competed again in a dunk contest since winning one in 2008 back when he was still in New Mexico.
Newsome said he wasn’t even informed he’ll be competing in the event until hours before the charity game, obviously leaving him not totally prepared for the contest.
“They told me about it not even 24 hours before (the game) that I’m going to be in the contest,” Newsome said.
Asked how he prepared in such short notice, Newsome said, “I just went in there and did some things that I did when I was messing around as a kid.”
Hapee teammate Bobby Ray Parks admitted he was still surprised with Newsome’s high-wire acts even though he knew his fellow Fresh Fighter has mean hops.
“Chris has the bounce but I was really surprised because he is a two-foot jumper and yet, he jumped off in one of his dunks,” said Parks, who was also supposed to compete in the event if not for a shoulder injury he sustained during the recent PBA D-League Aspirants Cup finals.
“It goes to show you that there’s a lot of talent in the semi-pro and amateur level,” Parks added.
The Ateneo high-leaper said he actually doesn’t have the time to practice his dunks, let alone, do it in games.
“By the time practice is over, I’m already tired. Maybe during breaks or when my legs felt good, I try to practice some dunks with Kiefer (Ravena) and Thirdy (Ravena). Other than that, I don’t practice too much. It’s something that I only get a chance to do when my legs feel good,” he said.
“I’m not really able to show my leaping ability during games because there’s a lot of contact in games and it’s kinda scary that you get that momentum, you jump too high, and someone can take your legs out,” Newsome added.
After winning the contest, Newsome made it clear he won’t be concentrating on just providing highlight-reel plays for the fans during actual games.
“It’s the game that I’m conscious about. I don’t try to dunk anything or go for a highlight unless it’s a fastbreak. If there’s an opportunity, I’m more than willing to try to take it,” he said.