Chris Newsome may have missed a potential game-winning jumper in the fourth quarter, but it was his gutsy fade away during the first-ever overtime in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup that sealed the game for the Meralco Bolts.
Despite being down by as many as 10 points early in the 4th period after a Jio Jalalon floater and five in the final two minutes of regulation, the Bolts refused to stay down as Trevis Jackson drilled a trey with a minute and a half remaining and then hit another one with 57.2 seconds left to snatch the lead for the Bolts, 91-90.
After both teams went back and forth from the charity stripe, Paul Lee’s free throws knotted the game at 94 apiece with 13.3 seconds remaining. Newsome tried to win it at regulation but couldn’t find the bottom of the net at the buzzer.
Newsome scored 8 of his 23 points in overtime, including a tough fade-away jumper with 9 seconds left to seal the game for the Bolts. Paul Lee failed to connect on a three-pointer to tie the game.
“Honestly, it was a great team effort. We got a lot of guys hitting big shots. Our rookie, AB (Aaron Black), hit some big shots, Trevis Jackson really, really big shots. So you definitely got to give credit to the rest of the team. We just wanted to come out, play with a lot of energy, play with a lot of heart and try to do anything to get a win today,” said Newsome, who finished the game with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Bolts which now moves to 2-2 in the team standings.
Rookie Aaron Black also had a solid outing as he contributed 16 points, including three treys, while adding four boards and four dimes for the Bolts. Cliff Hodge and Reynel Hugnatan chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, Jackson, the fifth pick in the 2018 PBA Draft, scored all of his 10 points inside the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter and went 3-for-3 from downtown during that stretch. Although he could have put the game away had he converted all of his two free throws late in the fourth, Meralco coach Norman Black was still satisfied with the play of his second-string guard.
Chris Newsome with the DAGGER 3-Pointer
Reiterating that Jackson is a great fit to play in the game since one of Magnolia’s strengths is its guard play, Black said: “I was looking at the statistics, and even though he hasn’t played very many minutes, he has played quite well in the minutes that he’s played. Tonight, we seemed to be just floating around. We really didn’t have any definition in our game, and I thought I would give him the chance to turn the game around, especially against a team like Magnolia, who is guard-oriented.”
“We can actually play three guards against them, and bringing Travis in really helped us a great deal as far as ball pressure was concerned, not to mention, he hit three shots in a row. He is going to be a good player. He is just like Aaron (Black). He is still a young guy. He is only 24 years old. He is still learning the game. He is still learning the PBA. I’m so happy for him that he was productive, and he helped the team win,” added Black.
For Magnolia, Lee exploded for a season-high 32 points, anchored by six triples, alongside four rebounds. Mark Barroca added 17 points off the bench while Chris Banchero and Jio Jalalon scored 13 apiece for the Hotshots, who missed the services of Ian Sangalang and Rome Dela Rosa due to injuries.
Magnolia suffered a second straight loss for a 1-3 card.
Meralco vs Magnolia Box Score
Quarters: 19-25, 46-46, 67-73, 94-94, 109-104 (OT)
Bolts (109) – Newsome 23, Black 16, Hodge 12, Hugnatan 11, Jackson 10, Quinto 8, Almazan 8, Maliksi 8, Jamito 8, Pinto 4, Amer 1
Hotshots (104) – Lee 32, Barroca 17, Jalalon 13, Banchero 13, Corpuz 12, Melton 6, Reavis 4, Pascual 4, Dioniso 3, Calisaan 0