CHRIS Newsome made sure he wouldn’t be at the wrong end of a game-winning play for the second straight game as he clamped down on Jeff Chan in the last play of Meralco’s 92-90 win over Phoenix in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.
After seeing Kiefer Ravena score the turnaround fadeway jumper over him that led to NLEX’s 87-85 win over Meralco last Friday, Newsome played good defense on Chan who missed the potential game-winning triple at the buzzer.
“I was just playing defense,” the Filipino-American playmaker said. “I mean, it's either you stop them or you don't. At that point, it's just playing the best defense that you can. Obviously, you can't really foul so you just play the best defense you can.”
“It's just my man got the ball so I do my best to guard,” the sophomore cager added. “It could have been anybody. It's just how it plays out.”
His solid defense made up for a relatively sub-par offensive showing of nine points on five attempts, along with five assists, four rebounds, one steal, and one block against two turnovers in 30 minutes.
The former Ateneo standout is more focused on the defensive end of the floor that will eventually translate into offense as the Bolts try to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive, with its Governors’ Cup Finals rematch against Ginebra on Sunday at the Philippine Arena.
“We just have to continue playing defense, get stops,” Newsome said. “Sometimes things don't go right on offense and it kinda carries over into our defense and that's something that we focus on, no matter what happens on offense, we're going to try to play hard defense.”