DENZEL Bowles wanted to make a comeback to Rain or Shine in time for the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup playoffs.
It's just that his knee injury won't allow that to happen.
Elasto Painters coach Caloy Garcia shared to Spin.ph that the former Best Import awardee badly wanted to rejoin the team for the quarterfinals and even joined the team's practice on Tuesday.
"He went to practice yesterday, nag-shooting and konting drills siya, pero di talaga kaya," he said, admitting that the team still held out hope of a miracle to happen to their first-choice reinforcement.
But Rain or Shine officials would rather err on the side of caution and chose to stick it out with its original decision and allow Bowles to fully recover.
"Denzel was one of our options heading to the playoffs, but I don't want him to get injured again dahil career niya ang basketball. Wag na niya pilitin if he's not 100 percent and we can't gamble on him," said Garcia.
Despite the setback, the ROS coach is confident replacement import Carl Montgomery will be able to help the team as well as Bowles.
"He works hard and I feel good about him," Garcia said of Montgomery, who averaged 19.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in the Elasto Painters' final two elimination games.
With James Yap (groin injury) and Maverick Ahanmisi (toe) also out, Rain or Shine is hoping its local players will step up.
"We have other guys on the bench who can step up and I feel confident with our players," said Garcia. "I just hope that every game, we come out and play hard. Whatever happens, as long as we play hard, I'm gonna be happy."