24 August 2015

Solid Picks for the Bolts

Chris Newsome
With the returning bigman Rabeh Al-Hussaini back in their fold and newly acquired Justin Chua, the Meralco Bolts was able to utilize the 2015 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Gatorade Rookie Draft to address what they need: more backcourt options.

Gary David and Jimmy Alapag may be the main cog of the team at the back, but this does not mean they still have the legs to sustain it all throughout the game. Hence, the Bolts need some fresh legs. Somebody who can come off the bench and provide the energy and firepower. Somebody like Chris Newsome and Baser Amer.

Newsome was selected No. 4 overall by the Bolts in the draft held on 23 August at the Robinsons Midtown Ermita, reuniting him with former college coach Norman Black.

The 6-foot-2 wing player believes he will be a perfect fit for the Bolts under the leadership of Black, the same man who was his first coach in the Philippines when Ateneo recruited him in 2011.

"I’m excited to finally get to work with coach Norman. He's been there for me ever since I moved here to the Philippines so I feel like he's been the one who saw my game develop the most," said the 25-year old former Atenean. "He saw me come in as a raw athlete and he's seen me develop to what I've been able to accomplish at Ateneo and also he kind of taught me the ropes as far as how to balance both school and basketball."

"He’s seen every aspect of my game and he’s seen me improve so I feel that he’s the most capable of using me to the best of my abilities."

Amer, on the other hand, was made the No. 7 pick overall by the Bolts, setting the stage for a reunion with his former head coach at San Beda in Ronnie Magsanoc and assistant Xavi Nunag, as well as current Red Lions head coach Jamike Jarin.

"Sobrang blessed. Naging coach ko si coach Ronnie, coach Xavi, tapos si coach Jamike," said the 23-year old Amer.

The 6-foot-1 pure point-guard will also have a chance to join his acknowledged mentor Jimmy Alapag, who recently came out of retirement following a trade to join the Bolts from Talk 'N Text.

"May mentor ako sa team. Kumbaga, dati napapanood ko lang siya. Ngayon, kasama ko na. Sobrang blessed talaga," said Amer.

The Bolts has no available picks during the second round, but in the third round, they selected Joseph Sedurifa. The 6-foot-1 guard Sedurifa was a former MVP in the Naascu in 2013 while playing for Centro Escolar University.

With their depth problem and possible departure of Mark Macapagal, Sedurifa could be the insurance pick of the Bolts.

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