HANGZHOU, China — Instead of losing hope, Chris Newsome turned a major setback into a golden opportunity that led to a gold medal in the men’s basketball competition of the 19th Asian Games late Friday at the Hangzhou Olympic Centre here.
Newsome said he kept the faith and stuck with the process after getting cut from the Gilas squad that saw action in the FIBA Basketball World Cup last month.
He stressed that getting cut from the FIBA roster serves as his motivation.
“It’s definitely worth it because everyone knows that I want to be part of that FIBA lineup, especially being at home,” Newsome said.
“It hurts to get cut but I always keep on telling myself that if this is not yet my time, this is everybody else’s time. I will support them to the best of my ability and God has better plans for me, which is right now, this is the fruit of that plan.”
But Newsome’s faith had been rewarded.
The 6-foot-2 swingman was assigned by Gilas coach Tim Cone to shadow Jordan naturalized player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who came up with a miserable 8-of-29 shooting from the field.
“Sometimes, it may not be your time, but if you stay steady, if you stay consistent, you pray, you continue to believe and work hard every single day, you finally get what you want in life,” said Newsome, who now has a collection of three international gold medals after winning the title in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom and men’s 3×3 event of the SEA Games in Manila.
He said being part of the Gilas squad that made history is truly a blessing.
“It’s a blessing to be with a special group of guys, especially those back home who know what we had to go through to get to this point and how challenging it was,” he said.
“There’s a lot of reasons we couldn’t get it done. Actually, there are more reasons why we couldn’t get it done than we could. But despite all of that, we fought through it. We got a special group that really believed that we could do it.”