AT least Meralco’s own 'Chris' had a better night than San Miguel Beer’s version, at least offensively, and helped his team pull out a statement win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
While Christian Standhardinger had a so-so scoring debut, Chris Newsome stayed consistent for the Bolts, racking up 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting, seven boards, four assists, one steal, and one block in almost 40 minutes in their 93-85 win over the Beermen.
Newsome conspired with backcourt partner Baser Amer in leading the offensive attack while import Arinze Onuaku anchored their stingy defense that the Beeermen found tough to crack.
“We just understand that with our import, he’s gonna take a lot of attention, being double-teamed and things like that, so we have to make our outside shots in order to open the inside for him,” Newsome said.
The former Ateneo standout has made the most of those open looks, making 6-of-13 two-pointers and 2-of-4 triples.
That Newsome is shooting better is no accident. He's been working really hard on his shot.
“Of course, I’ve been working on my jump shots,” he said. “Before this conference, I’m just taking one or two threes a game. Now, I’m being comfortable in taking 4 or 5 shots a game. So if you leave me free, I’m gonna take it.”
"Just having the confidence to take the shot, I think that’s the biggest difference for me,” he continued after dropping 30 points against NLEX. “The confidence I have in taking the shot now. Every day, I’m getting shots, working in ball handling,” he added.
Newsome is glad to sneak past a mighty SMB squad that’s coming off vacation and still adjusting with top pick Standhardinger.
“Getting that win today puts us in position where we don’t have to play a game against them when they’re already clicking,” Newsome said. “They’re just coming off a championship and it takes time for them to get going.”
“It will be a tougher SMB team next time,” he added. “We expect that they’re gonna bounce back. They’re gonna figure things out. They’ve won championships. They have the same core sticking together. It works that way.”