THE big man who steered San Mig Coffee to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title last year is finally back.
The Mixers are bringing back Denzel Bowles to kick-start their bid for back-to-back championships while giving the San Mig fan favorite a chance to defend his best import title.
Bowles, 23, is expected to plane in by Sunday.
San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone informed Spin.ph about the latest development, which also saw the team informing current import Matt Rogers of the decision to replace him.
But doing so was not easy especially to a person as nice as Rogers, according to Cone.
“We informed Matt that he has been changed today,” said the San Mig coach. “The decision was hard for us. He’s a good guy.”
Cone said Rogers just had an unpleasant experience while staying in the country after missing his supposed PBA debut after being downed by food poisoning, and getting stuck inside a popular mall at the height of a big-time robbery.
“The poor guy had food poisoning... didn’t have time to recover... didn’t play well... now we’re changing him,” added Cone.
“He was in Megamall, stuck there when there was a shootout. Tough time for him.”
Cone added: “But Matt was great through it all. I wish we could have given him the opportunity.”
The multi-titled mentor stressed the switch simply addressed the import needs of the team.
“We really didn’t know when Denzel will be available. And when we finally got him out of his contract in China, we made a decision to bring him in right away,” added Cone.
“The team has always thought from the very beginning to give Denzel a chance to defend his crown. That’s something we wanted to do for him (and the fans).”
Upon arrival, Bowles will still have almost a week to re-acquaint himself with the Mixers’ system in time for his first game against Rain or Shine.
“Denzel gave us a magical ride last year, from our organizational stand point - he really deserves a chance to come back. Bringing him back wasn’t a tough decision for us,” Cone stressed.