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Tiebreaker Times


Chris Newsome’s heroics propel Meralco to brink of PBA title

Chris Newsome was stability personified as Meralco moved one win away from the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup title following a gritty 92-88 victory over San Miguel in the pivotal Game 5, Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts star finished with 22 points, none more important than the free throws he sank with 6.2 seconds left to play that took the fight out of the Beermen.

San Miguel had fought back, coming within 88-90 after being down 10 twice inside the last 5:20.

Newsome also had five rebounds and five assists, together with a steal and a block each as he overcame a sluggish start to deliver big in the clutch.

“These guys, they see the things that they need to improve on. In all honesty, San Miguel really played well in the last game. We needed to adjust some things and they played bravely today,” said head coach Luigi Trillo.

2024-pba-philippine-cup-finals-game-5-meralco-def-san-miguel-allein-maliksi Chris Newsome's heroics propel Meralco to brink of PBA title Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Allein Maliksi also came up huge as he submitted his best showing of the series to date with his own 22 points off the bench.

Together, the two were mostly responsible for that strong fourth-quarter performance to get the 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 affair.

The MVP Group-owned franchise has never held a 3-2 lead in any best-of-7 playoff series until this moment, per league stats chief Fidel Mangonon III.

Raymond Almazan bounced back as well, finishing with 14 points and four rebounds after only having two points in their 111-101 Game 4 loss two nights ago.

Chris Banchero supplied 12 points in the victory.

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“Talagang chinallenge ko ‘yung sarili ko today to be aggressive, to be a leader, to be a veteran. Nag-usap kami ni Raymond, ni Bong [Quinto]. Nakita namin ‘yung article, sabi namin step up tayo,” Maliksi said.

Meralco overcame the 38 points and 18 rebounds of June Mar Fajardo for San Miguel, who actually held a 70-69 lead entering the final frame but quickly lost it following back-to-back hits from Maliksi and Anjo Caram to open the period.

The Beermen would play catch-up since, eventually falling to their first 2-3 Finals deficit since the 2022 Philippine Cup against TNT.

CJ Perez was the only other double-digit scorer for the reigning champions with 17 points on 16 attempts.

However, his missed free throw with 7.2 seconds left proved so costly as it led to Newsome’s game-sealing charities shortly after.

The Scores:

Meralco 92 – Maliksi 22, Newsome 22, Almazan 14, Banchero 12, Quinto 8, Bates 6, Hodge 6, Caram 2, Rios 0, Torres 0, Pascual 0.

San Miguel 88 – Fajardo 38, Perez 17, Lassiter 6, Romeo 6, Cruz 6, Tautuaa 5, Trollano 5, Ross 3, Manuel 2.

Quarterscores: 24-25, 47-46, 69-70, 92-88.

Written By

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

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