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Chris Newsome’s championship-clincher: A testament to courage, overcoming failures

It may only be a lucky shot for others, but Chris Newsome believed that he could pull it out of his arsenal when needed – especially in dire straits.

In easily the biggest play of his life, the Meralco star turned around for a tough baseline jumper with 1.3 seconds left.

And that proved to be the bucket that clinched the franchise’s first-ever PBA championship on Sunday night.

“For a lot of guys out there, it may seem like it’s tsamba. But at the same time, it’s something that I work on every day,” he said moments after their 80-78 Game 6 win against San Miguel at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“For me and some of the guys in the locker room, there’s no surprise that it went in,” the 33-year-old combo guard furthered.

Newsome hadn’t been having a good game thanks to the opposing team’s defense on him, but the coaches still went with their top guy with the game tied at 78-all following June Mar Fajardo’s shocking triple.

“Personally, I wanted to get Chris Newsome the last shot,” said active consultant Nenad Vucinic. “I know he has been carrying us throughout the series, not only him, of course, but he stepped up to the big pressure on him.

“He didn’t have a game up to his standards. Today, he got really defended well by some of the guards of San Miguel, but the last shot had to go to him.”

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Vucinic and Co. wouldn’t feel disappointed with their decision. Even against the outstretched arms of Don Trollano, Newsome hit the bullseye.

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It felt somehow poetic for the nine-year pro to have his own game-winning moment in a title-clincher, considering that he and the Bolts had been on the losing end of a last-second basket like in that Finals trip in 2016.

“That’s his bread and butter, fadeaway jumper from the baseline and it went in. I’m so happy for him and I’m so happy for all the other players,” Vucinic said.

For Newsome, keeping the courage to go on despite the failures he had committed prior led to the shot that should go down in Meralco lore.

“The story behind it is just to have courage. To have courage to be able to try things and even if it fails, it’s OK because you can still learn from it and you can continue to grow and it’ll make you a better person at the end of the day,” he said.

“I’ve learned from all my failures. I’ve failed against Ginebra plenty of times in the Finals, and it’s those failures that allowed me to push and elevate my game and to work on those things that I felt like I needed to work on and you saw it pay off today.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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