Meralco rookie Chris Newsome shrugged off TNT combo guard Jayson Castro’s unusually physical plays on him, saying they are all part of “playoff basketball”.
Speaking to the press shortly after the Bolts eliminated the Katropa via a stunning 3-1 Governors Cup semifinal series win Monday, Newsome said he was happy to finally contribute to Meralco’s drive to the Finals.
“I’m really happy we finally made it to the Finals. This stuff hasn’t kinda hit me yet, but I’m glad we did it,” while wiping his lower lip, which was still bleeding after getting elbowed by Castro during the final 2 and 20 minutes of Game 4.
The 6-foot-1 Newsome also got slammed hard on the forehead by Castro while the Meralco freshman forward/ guard was going for a layup in the first period, leading to the TNT star’s flagrant foul 1 penalty.
The former Ateneo stalwart though maintained his respect on the two-time Best Points Guard in Asia.
“That’s playoff basketball. I’m probably gotta go get stitched up right now, but I’m not necessarily sure (on Castro’s rough plays) because it happened so fast and I didn’t get to see the replay because there’s just blood coming out of my lips,” recalled Newsome.
“Either way, the refs call it what it is. That’s how the system works now. They (referees) get to review the plays and I trust their judgement. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s playoff basketball.”
Asked if his defense in a way frustrated Castro, Newsome noted it was more of a credit to the Bolts’ commitment to playing team defense that have somehow affected the “Blur’s Game 4 performance.
“I definitely felt that our team defense kinda frustrate them as a whole,” he said.
“We had a pretty big game plan as far as trying to take away their three-point shots because we know they are dangerous team from behind the arc,” added the fourth overall pick of Meralco in last year’s PBA Draft.
“A lot of it is putting pressure on Jayson and it forced him to take tough shots.
By the time Castro was tossed out of the game in the 2:20 mark for incurring a technical foul to add on to his flagrant foul 1, the TNT combo guard left the game with 25 points on 9-of-25 shooting from the floor.
Castro also had eight rebounds and six assists, but five turnovers. – Richard Dy
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