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    Cone keen to give Rogers chance to prove worth even if Bowles becomes available

    Feb 4, 2013

    DESPITE a 0-3 (win-loss) stint for San Mig Coffee with Matt Rogers in pre-Commissioner's Cup tune-up games, Tim Cone said the team is sticking with the import and committed to giving him a chance to show what he can do.

    The Mixers signed up Rogers as Denzel Bowles, last season’s Commissioner’s Cup best import and Cone's original choice, remains tied down to his contract with the Zheijang Golden Bulls in the Chinese Basketball Association till the end of the month.

    But even if Bowles becomes available, Cone said the Mixers are not inclined to get Bowles as their standby import.

    “Matt’s open to learning and getting better, so it’s not fair for Matt,” stressed Cone. "And even if Denzel’s available right now, we’re committed to Matt, we’re sticking with him."

    Rogers, a product of the Southwest Baptist University, averaged 20.3 points for the Mixers in pre-tournament losses to the ABL’s San Miguel Beermen, Air21 and Rain or Shine.

    On the other hand, the 6-11 Bowles is a proven entity after leading the SMC franchise to last year's Commissioner's Cup championship in a stint he capped with a 39-point, 21-rebound performance in the title-clinching win over Talk 'N Text in the Finals.

    Still, Cone said the 6-11 reinforcement should be given the chance to find his place in San Mig's triangle offense and prove his worth.

    “We haven’t really learned how to use him,” Cone told “He has certain skills that are obvious but we just need to be able to use him.”

    Continue reading below ↓

    San Mig Coffee opens its title defense on Friday against Barako Bull in a battle pitting two teams that figured prominently in a blockbuster 10-player trade more than a week ago.

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