ANTIPOLO CITY - For Denzel Bowles, it felt like the good old days again.
The former Best Import turned back the hands of time and took charge when it mattered most, lifting Rain or Shine past Phoenix, 89-82, for its first back-to-back wins in the PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday at the Ynares Center.
Bowles erupted for 28 points, more than half of which he scored in the fourth quarter alone in an explosive performance that served to remind everybody the kind of player he was the first time the import played in the league seven years ago.
"It felt like a vintage me back a couple of years ago when I played here. To take over like that, it felt really good," said Bowles, who added 14 rebounds and five assists while shooting 11-of-14 from the floor.
Bowles knew he had to take over a game Phoenix controlled three-fourths of the way, the moment counterpart Richard Howell fouled out in the final 3:40
He sparked a 9-0 run by the Elasto Painters including the three-pointer that put them in front to stay, 82-80.
"I just got the opportunity. I just want to take over and give us the chance to win it tonight," said the Madison University alum.
It was the second straight win for Rain or Shine, which improved to an even 2-2 card.
Bowles admitted playing sluggish during the game as he continues to adjust to coach Caloy Garcia's system.
"It's a chemistry thing. It's a different offense for me. I'm adjusting to my teammates, and they're adjusting to me. But I think every game, we get better and better," said Bowles.
But once he finally gets comfortable with the Elasto Painters, Bowles sees better days ahead.
"That's what I'm feeling. And I hope so," added the import while flashing a big smile on his face.