April 25, 2024

Chris Newsome opens up about cut from final 12, continued role for Gilas in FIBA World Cup

Chris Newsome opens up about cut from final 12, continued role for Gilas in FIBA World Cup

It's more than just wearing the jersey.

Chris Newsome was with Gilas Pilipinas during practice at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, two days before the FIBA World Cup.

He was also with the team at the Philippine Arena on Friday, when Gilas faced the Dominican Republic. But he was not part of the final 12.

Newsome was wearing the white jacket of the Philippines, helping the team during warm-up by feeding them the ball.

"For me, it's just understanding my role now," Newsome told One Sports after the game against the Dominican Republic.

"Not being in the final 12, my role is to help in any way I can. Whether that's rebounding for the guys, helping them warm up, getting their minds right, just being vocal," he shared.

"The guys, I know they appreciate it a lot."

It's a rare chance for a basketball player to step on the court, inside one of the world's largest indoor arenas, and to bear the country's name while hosting the FIBA World Cup. Newsome won't let the chance slip away.

"This is an opportunity of a lifetime, to be in this arena, to be able to be part of the [FIBA] World Cup and touching this floor, to just being part of the team," he said.

"So any way that I'm gonna help. I'm gonna help. I think I showed that today. That's all I can really do."

Reyes explained to reporters on Tuesday how he spoke to Newsome, Ray Parks Jr., Thirdy Ravena, and Calvin Oftana at the same time to inform them of his decision, calling it "the deepest cut."

The coach made it a point that they were cut not because of any wrongdoings.

Parks and Ravena had to leave immediately to report to their team in the Japan B.League, while Oftana had to get back to Dumaguete and take care of his family.

Newsome opted to stay.

"Given the opportunity, I would go out there and I would love to play. It hurts that I can't play," he admitted.

He did earn praise from fellow Gilas Pilipinas members and the fans for his dedication. 

"We always gotta support one another," he said. "We wanna do something special."