PBA Philippine Cup semis tip off, Newsome vs. Lee must-watch

MERALCO Bolts wingman Chris Newsome is thrilled to take on the Magnolia Hotshots’ top gun Paul Lee as their teams’ best-of-seven semifinals series in the PBA Philippines Cup starts on Sunday at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Meralco was pushed to the hilt by the NLEX Road Warriors in the quarterfinals but the Bolts prevailed, 97-86, to book their ticket to the semifinals against third-seeded Magnolia.

Newsome is well aware of Lee’s skills and he said he’s up to the challenge of stopping or slowing down the Hotshots’ crafty wingman.

“I always love to compete whenever it comes down to it. I love to take on the best from the other side, and he’s definitely one of the best in the league,” said Newsome of Lee, who averaged 17 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in the elimination round.

Newsome, though, stressed that the series will not be all about him and Lee, with both their teams featuring other prolific players who are capable of putting up explosive performances. This includes Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva—a contender for the Best Player of the Conference award—and Meralco’s Mac Belo.

“It’s just a challenge that I have to step up to, not just me. But it’s going to be a team effort because there might be times I may not be on Paul Lee. Depending on how the series goes,” said the 31-year-old Ateneo product.

“Everyone knows a series is like a chess match. It’s not necessary to be me against Paul Lee. We may see a lot of different match-ups,” he added.

“Nonetheless, I’m excited to go out there and compete, give our best, and put our best foot forward not just for the team but for the whole organization of Meralco.”