WHEN you call out “Chris” in a Meralco practice from now on, expect two players to face in your direction.
But no one’s taking anyone’s identity or spot from anyone in the team.
Chris Newsome believes new teammate Chris Lutz is a great pickup by the Bolts, saying the former San Miguel Beer star can help in them a handful of positions.
While coach Norman Black envisions Lutz bolstering the small forward spot, Newsome said his new teammate can also be a point forward like him.
“I feel he has the ability to take a lot of pressure off of me as far as maybe I don’t have to bring the ball up as much anymore because you got another guy that can play almost the exact same way,” the sophomore playmaker said.
Asked how Lutz fits in a team that also has a plenty of promising wingmen including rookies Ed Daquioag and Jonathan Grey, Newsome believes it will boil down to who stands out in practice and in games.
“There are definitely a lot of players in the same position (as Lutz plays), but when it comes down to it, I think coach Norman’s system is pretty self-explanatory that if you perform, you’re going to be on the court, and if you don’t perform, usually it’s going to be a little harder for you to get minutes,” Newsome said.
“So I feel like with him, it’s going to be the exact same thing as anyone else,” he added. “You got to earn your minutes and show him that you’re willing to contribute in whatever position he puts him in.”
And it’s the same situation for the other wingmen fighting for minutes.
“If they can prove that they can be efficient and we can win games, I’m sure they’ll have their opportunity to play,” Newsome said.
“Everything here’s earned,” he added. “Nothing’s going to be given.”
Lutz is confident he can fit in like a glove, but his first priority is recovering from left ankle surgery he had last November.
“Obviously those things will come when I’m healthy, but I think I’ll fit in well,” the former Gilas forward said. “But again, all my focus is just getting back, and I’ll do whatever I can, do whatever coach asks, and just try to get my game back.”