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Chris Newsome credits Jimmy Alapag for instilling the importance of free throws

Meralco’s Chris Newsome has been clutch from the free throw line all throughout the Philippine Cup Finals and he has former teammate Jimmy Alapag a lot to thank for.

It has been years since Chris Newsome and Jimmy Alapag played together but the former is still benefitting from the lessons of his former teammate. (PBA Images)

In Game 5, Newsome coolly sank two free throws that sealed the Bolts’ 92-88 victory over the Beermen which gave them a 3-2 advantage in the final series. It wasn’t the only crucial free throws Newsome made throughout the Finals, having also hit a couple of clutch shots from the charity stripe late in Game 3.

“It becomes second nature and basically in those moments whenever the game is on the line. Big moments like that I just rely on muscle memory and my routine, and just trust my work,” said Newsome who went with an impeccable 10-of-10 clip from the foul line in Game 5.

It was a fitting followup to his 14-of-15 clip from the same area in Game 4 where he exploded for a career-high 40 points despite losing 111-101.

In the Finals, Newsome is shooting 91-percent clip from free throws, only missing four through 45 attempts in five games.

Newsome said that the efficiency from the free throw line comes with a lot of work in practice, shooting a hundred of free throws every day – a routine that he developed thanks to PBA great Alapag who instilled the importance of free throws in him during his rookie year.

“Free throws honestly are something that I worked on since I came into the league,” said Newsome who gave a huge shoutout to the former Bolts captain and now Sacramento Kings assistant coach in the NBA.

The two played for the Bolts from 2015 to 2016 when Newsome was one of the league’s budding stars and Alapag was already on the latter part of his PBA playing career.

“Jimmy Alapag was one of those guys that helped me out with that understanding that free throws are a very crucial part of the game. Ever since I got with Jimmy Alapag my rookie year, I started shooting a hundred free throws every single day,” recalled Newsome.

Alapag had become one of the clutch players from the free throw line during his heyday in the PBA. Under his tutelage, Newsome developed the habit of practicing his free throw shooting that to this day, proved to be a huge part of his game.

“When I started maybe a 70 percent free throw shooter and over the year I continue to get better,” said Newsome.

“The first thing I do when I get to the gym is shoot hundred free throws and overtime I found myself improving a lot ,” he added.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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