Chris Newsome goes clutch as Meralco reclaims PBA PH Cup Finals lead vs SMB

Bong Quinto points to the crowd after converting a basket. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Chris Newsome took flight in the final 34 seconds to give Meralco a 93-89 win in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Newsome's clutch efforts began by hitting a left corner three off a Chris Banchero feed to give the Bolts the lead back, 91-89, after June Mar Fajardo's free throws put the Beermen ahead for the last time at 89-88.

CJ Perez, who sparked SMB's late comeback in Game 2 with a clutch three that eventually set the stage for Marcio Lassiter's game-winning three, came up short in a layup attempt that could have tied the game.

Meralco got to milk the clock before Perez fouled Newsome with 11 seconds to go, and Newsome hit two free throws to essentially ice the game.

Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross missed on three-point attempts that could have kept the Beermen in the end as time ran out on them.

Newsome's last dash capped a 26-point outburst along with four rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks to lead Meralco, now 2-1 up in the best-of-seven series.

Raymond Almazan added 17 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, three blocks, and one steal, while Banchero and Cliff Hodge each made 10 markers with Hodge also grabbing 13 boards.

Mo Tautuaa led SMB with 19 points and six rebounds off the bench in a game where Perez was limited to 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting and June Mar Fajardo was held to just 12 points and forced to commit seven turnovers.

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