Meralco could miss Chris Newsome for a long while.
Lead deputy Luigi Trillo bared that the star guard is expected to be out for three weeks or, worse, a month based on the MRI results of his calf injury.
“It depends on how early he heals, pero siguro mga three weeks to a month pa eh,” he said Friday after the Bolts’ 105-92 conquest of the hard-luck Terrafirma to break through in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Newsome got hurt during their conference debut against NorthPort last week, rushing to the dugout with only 2:50 left before the halftime break.
Without him, Meralco lost via a 101-95 decision with Robert Bolick turning in a career-high performance that saw him light it up with 44 points.
The Bolts’ struggles continued with their main man on the sidelines as they bowed to a 99-91 result to rival Ginebra days later.
Trillo couldn’t help but feel for Newsome, who’s also part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers window.
“I feel bad for him because he really wants to be part of the Gilas team rin so nagdo-double time siya roon, and he’s excited about this conference,” he said.
But while the 32-year-old is out, Trillo has faith that the remaining ones are more than capable to fill in the gap to address the absence.
“We’re a firm believer kay Bong [Quinto] and other guys who can chip in and, you know, that’s a spot that I know where we have faith in these guys that can come in and contribute as you saw today,” he said.
Bong Quinto did play a major role in their conquest of the Dyip firing 17 points as he joined hands with Johnny O’Bryant and Allein Maliksi for the fourth quarter pull away that saw them unleash a 12-2 run for the 96-82 lead.
Maliksi tallied 18 points while Aaron Black had 17, and Chris Banchero chimed in 12 markers as the usual providers proved that they can hold the fort while awaiting the return of the former Rookie of the Year.
“You have him [Quinto], you have Banchero, you have Maliksi. They just have to chip in to help Aaron out, to help O’Bryant out, and Raymond. These guys can come in, and I have full faith,” said Trillo.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.