Denzel Bowles on top of Purefoods' wish list but there are two hitches
Denzel Bowles led Purefoods to the 2012 PBA Commissioner's Cup title. Jerome Ascano

PUREFOODS management expressed willingness to bring back champion import Denzel Bowles for the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

However, two major concerns stand in the team’s way.

Team governor Rene Pardo admitted to height issue remains as the biggest stumbling block for the Hotshots considering the unlimited height allowed for imports in the mid-season tournament is only for teams which finished in the lower bracket of the Philippine Cup.

Purefoods finished seventh in the All-Filipino Cup and was ousted by Meralco.

The height limit for this year’s Commissioner’s Cup for the top eight teams is 6-foot-9.

 “Hindi kasi namin alam kung pasok si Denzel sa 6-9 na limit. Kasi kung matatandaan mo, yung dalawang conference na ginamit namin si Denzel, unlimited height conferences yun,” said Pardo of Bowles who led the San Mig Coffee Mixers to the title of the mid-season conference two years ago.

Pardo bared that whenever the league implements an unlimited height for imports, it normally refrains from measuring the players.

“Kung papasa siya (Bowlers) sa height limit. We can definitely consider him. Kaya nga right now, we wanted to know kung 6-9 siya,” added the amiable team official.

“If he will pass (the height limit), Baka pwede.”

Pardo revealed Bowles is currently playing for the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association, although the one-time Best Import is very much willing to return and play in Asia’s pioneering pro league.

“Asa China siya, gusto niyang pumunta rito. He is available. He is being considered along with two or three other,” said Pardo.

Asked if Bowles remains to be one of the priorities of the team as Purefoods bids to  bounce back from an early playoff exit, Pardo was quick to respond in the positive.

“Of course. Yes, Denzel Bowles yan eh. Kaya high on the list yan. He brought us to the championship nung unlimited height conference. We expect him to be dominant again, if he plays the same way,” added the longtime Purefoods official.

Pardo has another major concern.

     “Kaso hanggang February pa ang commitment niya sa China. The Commissioner’s Cup starts on January 27. Kaya pinag-aaralan namin talaga ang options ngayon,” he added.

Coach Tim Cone is currently weighing other prospective imports whom Pardo expects the two-time Grand Slam coach will decide within the next few days.

“Itong month of December we have to decide, kasi January magbabalik ensayo na ang team.


I don’t think pupunta pa ng US si Tim. Siguro we’ll just burn the lines,” he said as Purefoods is set to return to practice on January 5.

Meanwhile, Pardo claimed that ‘law of averages caught up’ with the Hotshots and told their throngs of fans to keep the faith as they vow to come back stronger next conference.

The ever approachable Purefoods team executive also bared that some fans send the team messages about how they’re not used to seeing the Hotshots eliminated early in the playoffs.

“Nakikita ko nga may ibang mga fans ang parang hindi pa rin sanay na wala kami sa playoffs. Talagang ganun, hindi lagi panalo. Pero babawi kami next conference,” he said.

“Pakisabi sa mga fans, kaunting tiis na lang at January 27 na. Andyan na kami ulit.’

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snow badua