MERALCO coach Norman Black expressed concern over Chris Newsome, who missed the entire second half against NorthPort due to a calf injury.
Newsome suffered the injury during the second quarter that was serious enough that Black opted not to bring the athletic wingman back the rest of the way.
Black said he has yet to determine the extent of Newsome's injury as of posting time, but he hopes to hear better news in the next coming days.
“I have no idea,” said Black, when asked about Newsome’s status. “He will see the doctor tomorrow.”
“The fact that he couldn’t play anymore means it’s not something that is good. We just have to wait till we find out the results.”
“I know that it is his calf that he injured. He said he didn’t feel any type of pull. And he got hit. I’m not sure if it’s a deep bruise. I’m not really sure at this point,” said Black.
Newsome’s absence weighed heavily on the Bolts as they blew a 20-point lead before going down to the Batang Pier, 101-95, in overtime.
But Black isn’t making Newsome’s absence as an excuse in what he described was “a blown opportunity.”
“He is our best player. Whenever you lose your best player, certainly, there’s going to be a gap there," he said. "But in this particular game, I don’t think we can use that as an excuse because we were up by 20 points. The other guys should have been able to bring it home, particularly the import, he should have been able to bring this game home.”
“It’s a big blow losing New because he is our best player and he is our leader. But at the same time, there’s no excuse for us losing tonight,” said Black.
Black lauded the spectacular end-game performance of Robert Bolick, who lit up with 17 of his career-high 44 points in the fourth to spark the comeback. But he also rued several blown chances by the Bolts.
“I guess Robert Bolick happened because he really did a good job in the second half for his team," Black said.
"We had our opportunities. We had shots underneath the basket. We couldn’t make any outside shots. It was like their shots were falling while our shots stopped going in."