As the fourth overall pick in the recent PBA draft, there’s understandably a lot of attention on Ateneo standout Chris Newsome. Expected to bring athleticism, dynamism, and a new explosiveness to the Meralco Bolts, the rookie looks to be the ideal addition to head coach Norman Black’s new-look team. With the Philippine Cup set to start in a few days, OneMeralcoSports.com caught up with Chris to see how he’s settling in to his new home.
The last few weeks since the draft must have been very exciting, how has the experience been so far?
“This is something that I’ve been waiting for, for a really, really long time. Even my whole stay with Ateneo, I’d be watching PBA games because I dreamed of being in the PBA at some point. Now I’m finally at that point, so in a way it’s a sense of relief because, like I said, it’s something that I’ve been waiting for. At the same time, I’m really really excited to get started. We’ve got a great group of guys, great coaching staff to work with, and I really couldn’t ask for a better place to start my career.”
The team recently traveled to Las Vegas for a training camp, where we heard you not only impressed, but were asked to mix it up with the NBA players more than the others.
“Vegas was awesome. I was previously there with Ateneo because, Ateneo would train there [during off seasons]. Going back there, it’s always great because you learn a lot. Me, like every year, I learn something new from those guys because, obviously they’re one of the best in the world at doing what they know how to do, and teaching it. Interacting with those NBA guys, it kind of gives you a sense that you’re doing the right things, doing what you’re supposed to do, and you’re being taught the right way, and practicing the right things. In that way, it helps me to know that I’m on the right track, and these are the things I should continue to do if I want to be a really good professional.”
What’s your mindset now that the start of the PBA season is just around the corner?
“I’m really really excited to get started. Right now we’ve got some tuneup games, so it’s a great time for us to bond as a team. Because even in Vegas we didn’t have the complete lineup of the team. We were missing a few guys, so yeah, now we’re starting to gel together as a team. We’re starting to figure out how each other plays. I’m learning a lot of things from the veteran guys like Jimmy and JD, and Rey. They’re teaching me a lot as a rookie, and I understand that I have a lot of responsibility as a rookie. You know, being one of the top picks, I do understand that there’s a lot of responsibility with that, both on and off the court, so these guys are doing a good job helping me understand what role it is I need to fulfill and how to do what it is I need to do to make this team better.”