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Newsome ends Meralco’s 14-year wait, clinches first-ever PBA championship

Chris Newsome ended Meralco’s 14-year wait in spectacular fashion.

The long-time Bolt hit the championship-clinching shot with 1.4 seconds left, stunning the San Miguel Beermen in Game 6 of the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, 80-78, on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With the game tied at 78-all, Newsome drained a tough fadeaway over Don Trollano’s outstretched arms.

San Miguel had one last chance, but June Mar Fajardo – who had earlier tied the game with a miracle triple – missed the final shot.

2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Finals-Game-6-Meralco-def-San-Miguel-Chris-Newsome-2 Newsome ends Meralco's 14-year wait, clinches first-ever PBA championship Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

“This is a special moment because honestly, we didn’t really think we were going to get this far. We didn’t even think we were going to make it to the playoffs. But here we are,” said Newsome, who was hailed Finals MVP after averaging 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in the series.

He also had 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block in the title-clincher.

“So, if you continue to work hard, believe in what you’re doing, and trust the organization, good things will eventually happen,” added Newsome.

This historic victory marks Meralco’s first-ever title in its 14-year PBA tenure.

2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Finals-Game-6-Meralco-def-San-Miguel-Bolts-nation Newsome ends Meralco's 14-year wait, clinches first-ever PBA championship Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

“They needed to work hard to earn it not just in this game but also during the entire series,” said Meralco head coach Luigi Trillo, now a two-time PBA champion head coach.

“I’m just proud of the way these guys battled through it. You know, it was one of those series where every game was very close and came down to the wire. But our guys deserve credit; they found a way to keep on staying on. They showed composure in the second half for us,” continued the son of long-time Alaska executive Joaqui Trillo.

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Though it was a wire-to-wire win by all accounts, Meralco had to pull every trick out of its bag to fend off San Miguel.

Trailing by as much as 17 points in the contest, the Beermen relied on their depth to close in. They knotted things up at 78-all with 3.3 seconds remaining thanks to a rare clutch three by Fajardo.

Newsome, out to end the heartbreak of their last four Finals losses – all to Ginebra, then delivered when it mattered the most.

Besides Newsome, the Bolts’ other aces delivered, proving that they were big-time players as well.

Chris Banchero, Meralco’s prized recruit during the league’s first-ever unrestricted free agency signings, tallied 10 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

Bong Quinto, whom the Bolts picked as the 14th overall pick in the 2018 Draft, scored 11 points. Veterans Allen Maliksi (14 points) and Raymond Almazan (9 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks) also had their share in the limelight.

2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Finals-Game-6-Meralco-def-San-Miguel-Meralco-champion Newsome ends Meralco's 14-year wait, clinches first-ever PBA championship Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

The series itself was hard-fought in what is seen as the most exciting Finals series in recent memory.

During the six-game series, the average winning margin was just 4.67 points per game.

On the other end, Fajardo tallied a typical double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

CJ Perez saw himself limited to just 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Perez still grabbed nine boards.

The Scores:

Meralco 80 – Newsome 15, Maliksi 14, Quinto 11, Bancheor 10, Almazan 9, Caram 6, Torres 6, Hodge 6, Bates 3, Rios 0

San Miguel 78 – Fajardo 21, Perez 14, Lassiter 11, Tautuaa 10, Romeo 9, Trollano 7, Ross 1, Enciso 0, Teng 0, Cruz 0, Brondial 0

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Quarterscores: 29-18, 47-40, 63-58, 80-78

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