Newsome's awesome, well-practiced shot leads to Meralco's historic PBA title

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Newsome's awesome, well-practiced shot leads to Meralco's historic PBA title
Chris Newsome (11) with the patented baseline jumper.
STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines -- Every basketball player has a go-to play.

Be it a step back jumper, a floater off the dribble or a corner 3-pointer, every basketball player has a shot that he is most comfortable with.

For Chris Newsome, it is the baseline fadeaway jumper from the right corner.

And on the cusp of a first PBA championship, the Meralco Bolts knew just who to go to.

With the game tied at 78 with 3.3 seconds remaining, and with the title at the Bolts’ fingertips, Newsome received the inbound pass from Chris Banchero.

Newsome then rose up over the outstretched arms of Don Trollano and made the baseline fadeaway jumper that sank to the bottom of the net to put Meralco ahead, 80-78, with 1.3 ticks to go.

June Mar Fajardo, who tied the game with a 3-pointer just a few seconds before, received the inbound pass and hoisted up another triple but missed, securing the Bolts’ first title in franchise history.

“It’s a shot that I worked on all the time, I put thousands of reps into that shot,” Newsome, who won the Finals Most Valuable Player award, told reporters after the game.

“For a lot of guys out there, it might seem like it’s tsamba but at the same time, that’s something that I work on every day. So to me and the other guys in the locker room, it’s no surprise that it went in,” he added.

Meralco active consultant Nenad Vucinic also knew just how hard the guard worked on the shot that it was a no-brainer for him to call the final play for the star.

“We were in shock when June Mar made that fadeaway 3, we were shocked but we got it together. Personally I wanted to get Chris Newsome the last shot. I know he’s been carrying us through the series, not only him of course, but he really stepped up,” Vucinic bared.

“The big pressure was on him. He didn’t have a game up to his standards today. He got really defended well by some of the guards by San Miguel but the last shot had to go to him," he added. "That’s his bread and butter, fadeaway jumpshot from the baseline, and it went in. I’m so happy for him and I’m so happy for all the other players.”

Newsome said that while there was a chance that his shot would not fall – he was 3-of-16 before the final shot, anyway – they would live with the result.

“Of course, it could have been the opposite as well, but regardless, the story behind it is just to have courage, to be able to try things and even if you fail, it’s okay because you can still learn from it, you can continue to grow and it’ll make you a better person at the end of the day,” he said.

“I learned from all my failures, I’ve failed against Ginebra plenty of times in the finals and in those failures that allowed me to push and elevate my game. You saw it pay off today.”

Newsome averaged 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in the series.

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