X-Factor: Can Chris Newsome soar higher?

Rookie Chris Newsome will always be remembered for his in-game dunk against Arwind Santos during his PBA debut.  But after that, Newsome showed that he’s more than just a highlight reel. 

The fourth overall draft pick put in the work and the numbers to earn starter’s minutes under Norman Black, his former college coach.

The 6-foot-2 athletic Fil-Am averaged 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the eliminations in almost 28 minutes, leading all rookies in playing time.

“Bringing in Chris (Newsome) gives us an opportunity to have more versatility. He can play the one position, the two position, the 3 position, and possibly even the 4 position,” said Norman Black at the start of the season.

Black preferred Newsome over former Gilas shooter Gary David because of his size, versatility and hunger.

Newsome proved Black right as he slowly ate up David’s minutes that eventually led to their bitter falling out. But it wasn’t Newsome’s fault that he put in the effort and was rewarded with a starting gig.

After an early exit in his first conference, Newsome finally gets to taste the PBA playoffs with Meralco entering as the second seed against sister team NLEX.

Can Newsome soar to greater heights? The PBA playoffs will be his ultimate proving ground. – By Alder Almo

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo