Mendoza: Winsome Newsome

Mendoza: Winsome Newsome
SunStar Mendoza

All eyes will be on Chris Newsome when Gilas Pilipinas plays in Europe soon. That’s because he starred in Meralco’s recent victory in the PBA Philippine Cup.

And how did Newsome steal the spotlight again in Meralco’s conquest of powerhouse San Miguel Beer?

The series seemed set for a Game 7 decider with mere ticks remaining as a result of Beerman June Mar Fajardo’s improbable three from left quartercourt that tied the count at 78-78.

But, horror of horrors, Newsome received a pass from right quartercourt, eluded Nick Enciso with a lightning-quick dribble to the right and flung the baseline jumper against the outstretched arms of Don Trollano.

The desperation shot found its mark for Meralco’s 80-78 sturdiest of leads with 1.3 seconds remaining. Then, Fajardo’s aim for a second miracle three went long, sealing the Bolts’ stirring 4-2 triumph and crown-clinching moment.

It capped Newsome’s seeming penchant to star in crucial games where Meralco’s decades-old wait for titles were on the line.

In the last Asian Games, Newsome starred in Gilas’ title-clinching feat in Hangzhou by immensely helping the country’s mission to end a 61-year Asiad wait.

In his recent PBA feat, Newsome ended Meralco’s 14-year wait for a first PBA trophy.

Also, that winning jumper halted Meralco’s title-losing drought of 53 years after the Reddy Kilowatts’ last victory in the amateur 1971 MICAA.

Will Newsome star again in Gilas Pilipinas’ bid to end the nation’s 52-year wait to re-enter Olympic basketball in Paris?

Will Newsome be the spark to replicate our last Olympic participation in the 1972 Munich Olympics, where the just-departed Yoyong Martirez starred as the team’s point-guard?

Will Newsome trigger Gilas’ win over either Georgia or Latvia in Riga, Latvia, beginning July 2, for us to advance?

Newsome flies with Gilas to Riga this week for tune-up games versus Turkey and Poland, after having scrimmaged with Taiwan Monday night in Calamba, Laguna.

Newsome, 6-foot-2, is 33, the son of African-American Eric (voice actor) from Berkeley, California, and Filipina Carmelita Duque from Piddig, Ilocos Norte.

Newsome has told Inquirer’s Jonas Terrado: “I’m a natural competitor. Sometimes, I fail. But I’m okay with failing, because I know I did my best.”

That’s attitude. Positive.

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