WHILE San Mig Coffee is winless in two starts, the arrival of former Best Import Denzel Bowles has apparently perked up the Mixers and bitter rival Rain or Shine has started making adjustments for their showdown on Friday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
One concern for Painters coach Yeng Guiao is Bowles’ speed, which could be a problem for the bigger but slower Rain or Shine import Bruno Sundov in their 7:30 p.m. match.
“Even with a big import in Bruno, Denzel is still going to be a problem for us match-up-wise. Kasi, siya (Bowles) may size at quickness. Eh ang import namin may size, pero wala siyang quickness ng kagaya kay Denzel,” Guiao said of his 7-foot-3 reinforcement.
“Kung ipapabantay ko lang naman sa local big men ko si Denzel, baka maiwanan naman sila kasi kaya silang postehan. So in short, kailangan na lang naming magtulungan sa depensa,” he added.
San Mig Coffee bowed to Barako Bull in its conference debut, 75-79, before getting plastered by Petron, 73-98.
Previous import Matt Rogers didn’t play in the four-point loss to Energy Cola after being downed by food poisoning.
The 6’10” Rogers played his first and only game in the PBA against the Boosters, finishing with 20 points and nine rebounds. Rogers was sent home last weekend after the Mixers received confirmation that Bowles was already available to play.
“He’s (Rogers) a good guy who just had some bad luck due to food poisoning. It just so happened, that Denzel Bowles was available and he has a special chemistry already with the team. Somehow, there’s a renewed energy in practice,” San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone said before the team’s practice on Thursday.
The Elasto Painters will continue to miss the services of top local gunner Jeff Chan, who is out with a broken left thumb. But expected to fill the void are Paul Lee, Ryan Arana, Gabe Norwood and even big guys Beau Belga, JR Quinahan and Jervy Cruz.
Bowles, the 6-10 former James Madison University player, averaged 26.3 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field in 24 games for the Llamados last season.