DENZEL Bowles said Rain or Shine’s 104-81 beating of Barangay Ginebra had little to do with his duel against former coach Tim Cone and was more about the Elasto Painters finally getting in the groove.
Bowles pumped in 25 points and had 17 rebounds in the victory that finally put the Elasto Painters in the win column in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 23-point blowout arrested a two-game skid for the team, which Bowles said should be the main focus rather than his battle against the coach with whom he won his first and only PBA championship seven years ago.
“I just tried to get my team going. Maybe if we’re not 0-2, maybe it would have been more of a story line for me because of coach Tim.,” said the former Best Import awardee. “I’m more focused on Rain or Shine today.”
Rain or Shine finally hitting its shots was the key to dealing Cone and Barangay Ginebra a second loss in four outings, according to Bowles.
“We finally started making shots. That’s where the problem was in the first two games,” said the 30-year-old import. “We played very well today, played with a lot of energy, and we played defense.”en
The win, added Bowles, came as a relief to him as there would have been a lot of things in his mind had the Elasto Painters gone 0-3 with another loss.
“In this league, no matter who you are, if you lose, you go packing,” he said, “This one, I feel a little bit better. I can sleep (well) tonight.”
But somehow, a discussion with Bowles won’t end without Cone being mentioned.
The import, responsible for giving Cone his very first championship with the Purefoods franchise (2012 Commissioner’s Cup), said he had some small talk with his former coach shortly after the game.
“It’s all love between us,” he said.
“We got a great history. We solidified in the PBA from that game,” added Bowles, obviously referring to that memorable Game 7 of the finals against Talk ‘N Text in which the import sank two-pressure packed free throws that sent the game into overtime.
But asked if he misses Cone, Bowles was evasive.
“It was a great game,” he said with a loud laugh.