BATANGAS City – Chris Newsome may have lost his PBA Slam Dunk title, but he’s happy that he got to represent his heritage with his performance.
The third-year Meralco star missed out on a place in the final round after getting only a combined score of 72 for his two dunks in the eliminations - he started one by dancing the ‘Tinikling’ then jumped over PBA legend Benjie Paras, a kid and a Sorbetes stand on the other.
“I definitely tried something original, something they’ve never seen before and like what I’ve said, that’s something a lot of people can relate to. That really mattered to me,” said Newsome.
“I just wanted to entertain the people and give them a good show. Overall. I am happy,” he added.
By showcasing the Filipino culture in his dunks, Newsome may have unintentionally touched the hot topic of the eligibility of Filipino-Americans in the country. The controversy was re-opened by the 'one Fil-Am per team' rule in the MPBL.
In the PBA, each team is still limited to getting just five Fil-Americans.
While Newsome said that’s not exactly his intention, he’s more than happy to represent his roots in the contest.
“That’s a very touchy subject. I’m not one that likes to divide. When you start to divide groups, Fil-Ams or locals it tears down what we stand for which is ‘one united.’ You’re not gonna disclaim something because they’re from Cebu or Iloilo,” Newsome said.
“Just because a Filipino was born somewhere else, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s not a Filipino,” he added. “Regardless of where you come from, you should be proud of your heritage and you should be proud that you have the opportunity to represent that. It should be that way for everyone.”