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Clutch Newsome now a champion, Finals MVP

Chris Newsome went in front of their bench and stared at the sea of fans in orange shirts who were frantically celebrating at the historic Araneta Coliseum.

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Chris Newsome lets out a loud roar in celebration for his first PBA championship (PBA Images)

He savored the moment before letting out a loud roar before pointing at his jersey where the name Meralco Bolts was printed on it.

At last, Newsome is celebrating as a champion and he did that by writing his own legendary story that would forever be etched into the annals of the PBA Finals history.

With 3.3 seconds left and most of his teammates already with broken spirits after June Mar Fajardo nailed a tough step-back triple to tie the game with 78-all, Newsome readily rose to the occasion.

As if it was fittingly made for him, struggling all-game long after going 3-of-16, Newsome shrugged off all the gnawing pressure and delivered the biggest shot, not only of the series, but most probably his entire professional career.

The Bolts won 80-78 in Game 6 for their first PBA title.

He lifted Meralco to a pedestal that it had never stepped on before and it all boiled down to the courage and confidence that he had when he took that shot.

“The story behind it is just to have courage. To have courage to be able to thrive on things, and even if you fail, it’s still okay because you can learn from it, continue to draw and will make you a better person at the end of the day,” said Newsome, who had been Meralco’s biggest weapon in the Finals series.

Newsome was cold-blooded. He nailed a clutch triple in Game 3 to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead. He exploded for 40 points in Game 4. He again stepped up in Game 5 and put his team on the cusp of its first title after sinking two pressure-packed free throws.

He did it again in Game 6 – further solidifying his status as the Bolts’ superstar. He is now a champion and a Finals MVP and there was not a single doubt from his coaches that he would make that shot.

“I wanted to get Chris Newsome the last shot. I know he has been carrying us throughout the series, not only him, of course, but he stepped up to the big pressure on him,” said Meralco active consultant Nenad Vucinic.

“He didn’t have a game up to his standards. Today, he got really defended well by some of the guards of San Miguel, but the last shot had to go to him. That’s his bread and butter, fadeaway jumper from the baseline and it went in,” he added.

For Newsome, the shot was not only made during the remaining three seconds on the clock. It was a product of countless times at work honing that signature fadeaway.

“It’s a shot that I work on all the time. I put thousands of reps into that shot. A lot of people out there might say it’s ‘chamba’ but at the same time it is something that I work on everyday. Some of the guys in the locker room were not surprised that it went in,” he added.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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