IT’S just one those days when Denzel Bowles woke up on the right side of the bed.
The Purefoods import tallied a PBA career-high 49 points in the Hotshots’ 100-94 win over Talk ‘N Text Wednesday night in Game One of their Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series.
Bowles felt he just got into a shooting rhythm early on and was quick to pounce on the opportunity, which set the tone for the defending champion’s red-hot start in the best-of-five of affair.
“I just came out and got my rhythm early. I have no clue, but I just got in there so when my first couple of shots went in, I just kinda take advantage of it,” Bowles said after the game.
His 49-point output eclipsed his previous league-best of 39 which he scored during Game Seven of the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup Finals against the very same Tropang Texters side.
The total points of Bowles also fell one shy of tying the conference-hight of 50 points registered by imports Al Thornton of NLEX and Wayne Chism of Rain or Shine.
By halftime, the former James Madison University standout already had 29 points, helping the Hotshots took a 51-36 lead.
Even though the Tropang Texters managed to stage a furious rally in the second half, Bowles kept knocking off medium-range jumpers and occasionally, driving strong to the lane for two-handed dunks that thrilled the predominantly Purefoods crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s been the process of our offense. I’m getting out of our offense, but in the second half, they closed out on it, so I’m just trying to get the first available shot,” he added.
Bowles said exploding on the offensive end is nothing new to him, having done the same thing a few times during his 41-game stint with the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association over the past several months.
“In China, I scored 44. I had some hot nights, and I’m just blessed to keep going in the playoffs at the right time,” recalled the former league Best Import, who shot a scorching 23-of-35 from the field in the series opener.
The Hotshots take a break on Maundy Thursday, but resume practice on Good Friday onwards as they prepare for Game Two scheduled next Monday.