PBA: At SMB, Newsome saw Ross and the other Gilas players as his “brothers”

Jun 12, 2024

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Chris Newsome will always think of Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, CJ Perez, and June Mar Fajardo as his brothers because it was through their teamwork that Gilas Pilipinas won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, last year.

With the five men on the team, Gilas broke a 61-year-long gold-medal drought in last year’s Asiad by defeating host China in the semifinals and then defeating Jordan in the gold-medal game, creating history in Philippine men’s basketball.

Of course, the Meralco star is talking about the current PBA 48th Season Philippine Cup Finals, in which the Bolts are taking on Ross and Co. Heading into Game 4, the Bolts have a 2-1 lead over the Beermen in the championship series.

To no one’s surprise, Newsome claimed that Ross had the most impact on him out of the four San Miguel players he played with in the Asiad. Ross’s contributions have previously been acknowledged, but Newsome stated that witnessing it firsthand was enlightening.

In their own title defense against San Miguel, Meralco is using what Newsome saw from Ross in Hangzhou.

Ideally, Meralco will win the PBA championship for the first time thanks to what Newsome learned from Ross.

“They know, as my brothers, I’m also a very fierce competitor. I’m going to go out there and give my best and I expect the same from them,” Newsome said.

“You never want to see your brother win. You do want to see your brothers win but whenever it comes to that match-up, you always want to give your best,” He added.

On the other hand, is a reunion between Meralco and Allen Durham anticipated for the upcoming PBA Governors’ Cup?

Following Durham’s departure from the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the Japan B League, there is a chance that the three-time Best Import winner will return to the nation to don the orange and blue uniform once more for the Bolts.

The 35-year-old Durham has spent the last three years with the Kings, where he earned a B. league title from the previous season.

However, Ryukyu lost to the Hiroshima Dragonflies 2-1 in the championship game, meaning they were unable to hold onto their title this season.

When asked if Durham would be selected again, Meralco coach Luigi Trillo said the all-around import is being thought about but there is no assurance just yet.

In the meantime, Trillo stated that the Bolts, who are leading San Miguel 2-1 in the Philippine Cup Finals, are intensely focused on their quest for their first-ever franchise trophy.

Durham participated in four Governors’ Cup games for the Bolts beginning in 2016. He won the Best Import Award three times while leading the team to a second-place finish behind Barangay Ginebra.

He was scheduled to make a return to Meralco in 2021, but Ryukyu’s offer to join the B.League was encouraged because there was no assurance that the PBA would host a significant conference at that time given the epidemic.

However, the Governors’ Cup, which will launch the revamped PBA schedule in Season 49 of the league, and the 6-foot-6 and under height restriction for imports increase the likelihood of Durham’s comeback.

The 2014 season saw the Wyoming, Michigan native play for Barako Bull before joining Meralco.

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