It's the effort that counts as Hodge, teammate Newsome miss highlight-reel dunk
Cliff Hodge and Chris Newsome hang on to the rim after the missed dunk try. Jaime Campos

CLIFF Hodge doesn’t mind missing a potential highlight reel play after he and rookie teammate Chris Newsome simultaneously went for a follow-up dunk in Meralco’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Phoenix on Sunday.

It’s the effort – and the win – that mattered most, according to the Fil-Am forward.

“We both went up at the same time, but a foul was called and so, we both stopped,” said Hodge of the fourth quarter sequence that left both players hanging on to the rim when play was stopped.

The basket wouldn’t have counted either had they made the shot as Meralco was called for an offensive foul.

Despite the missed opportunity, Hodge was pleased to note both he and Newsome were on the same page and thinking about making the same play.

 “It (play) allowed me to go up and try to tip it back in, because you never know in a fastbreak when they missed it, it’s a good opportunity to get a rebound,” said Hodge, 28. “But we (Newsome) got up at the same time.”

Ironically, a similar incident involving Hodge and national teammate Chris Ellis happened when the two were part of the Sinag Pilipinas team which played in the Southeast Asian Games.

Asked what he told Newsome shortly after, Hodge replied, “just take it the next time.”

“It’s still better to be there than be without a rebounder,” said the 6-foot-5 forward who finished with eight points and six rebounds in the Bolts’ 90-87 win over the FuelMasters.

Meralco remained as the only unbeaten team in the mid-season conference with a 4-0 card.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos