Rookie of the Year race heats up as Troy Rosario allows Chris Newsome to gain ground
Only a tenth of a point separate Chris Newsome and Troy Rosario. Jaime Campos

THE race for the distinction as the best freshman this PBA season is heating up as Troy Rosario has allowed Chris Newsome to inch closer owing to recent their recent contrasting performances in the Governors’ Cup semifinal series between TNT Katropa and Meralco.

Rosario and Newsome are neck and neck in the Rookie of the Year race, with the former up by a mere one-tenth of a point in the statistical points average rankings through the end of the quarterfinals.

While Newsome put up a second straight stellar showing with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, eight assists, and three boards in almost 38 minutes in the Bolts’ 119-113 win after a dismal performance in the series opener, Rosario has slowly regressed after a solid output in Game One.

[See Meralco on cusp of first finals appearance with win over TNT in Game Three thriller]

Coming in averaging 12.5 points on 62.5-percent shooting in the first two games of the series, Rosario was held to his second-lowest output the entire conference with just three points on 1-of-4 shooting in their Game Three loss.  

And TNT coach Jong Uichico expects consistency from the Gilas Pilipinas standout and No. 2 pick in the last rookie draft.

“It (bad game) happens naman. Minsan maganda, minsan hindi,” Uichico said. “Then later on, he will be more consistent.”

[See Chris Newsome makes up for missed layup with two vicious dunks]

Rosario was the missing link for Texters as the rest of the TNT standouts delivered, but still proved insufficient as they were left on the brink of getting eliminated after a dominant showing this conference. 

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