THE Gilas cadets returned, yet it was a fixture in the Hapee lineup that led the Fresh Fighters in their 83-72 win over Café France in Game One of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals on Thursday.
Chris Newsome outshone Southeast Asian Games campaigners Baser Amer, Troy Rosario and Scottie Thompson with his energy that sparked the Fresh Fighters’ late breakaway.
The athletic Filipino-American wingman put up an all-around effort of 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, seven boards, five assists, and one block in 33 minutes.
“When we’re on this team, we play through whoever’s hot,” the former Ateneo standout said. “We all know everyone here is a good player from the starters all the way to the bench.”
“It could be anybody’s night,” he added. “So really whoever’s hot, we’ll keeping giving him the ball and today it was just my night.”
Amer, Rosario, and Thompson still delivered, especially in the payoff period, where they scored 17 of Hapee’s 23 points.
But it was Newsome who proved to be the difference as he was usually the finisher of the Fresh Fighters’ fast breaks, including a breakaway slam that gave them a 70-62 lead.
His boundless energy comes from practice.
“This is where your hard work and preparation come in,” Newsome said. “You get to showcase what you’ve been working on and how hard you’ve been working on. That’s where I get my energy and confidence.”