WHY fix it when it ain’t broke?
San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone still believes the same man responsible for giving them the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship last year – Denzel Bowles – remains the perfect piece needed for the Mixers' title defense.
“He is the best import and he won a championship for us last year. Obviously, Denzel knows us and the league, and he’s a great fit for us,” said Cone.
First thing first, Bowles needs to secure a clearance from the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, the last team he played for in the Chinese Basketball Association.
“It’s (status of Bowles) not clear yet, but we expect to have some firm information on January 15. We still feel he can still come in for us,” bared Cone about the minor complications that the agile big man still needs to settle with his mother team from China.
This developed as San Mig Coffee team governor Rene Pardo disclosed to Spin.ph that the Mixers have a steady list of choices for imports in case the deal with Bowles falls through.
“Maraming nasa listahan si coach Tim, pero ang isang option we might get somebody (temporary import), then wait for Denzel,” said Pardo since Bowles’ obligation with his Chinese team will not be finished until the latter part of February.
The mid-season Commissioner’s Cup starts on February 8.
Bowles has already submitted his other requirement to San Mig Cofffee - a medical clearance to prove that he has recovered from the knee injury that cut short his stint in China.
“OK na` yung injury ni Denzel, naglalaro na nga siya sa isang liga sa US. Kailangan lang talaga ma-clear siya sa China,” Pardo said. “Gusto namin si Bowles.Kahit naman siya gustong bumalik dito eh.”
Meanwhile, Cone flew to Reno Nevada on Sunday night for a five-day scouting report.
The one-time Grand Slam champion coach said it has always been his practice to be present in NBA D-League public workouts in order to be updated about possible import prospects for future PBA tournaments.
“I’ve done that (yearly US scouting) four or five times already. I was hoping I wasn’t going this year because I was hoping to be in the Finals, but since I didn’t make the Finals, I’m going now,” said Cone, who’s expected to be back in the country after a week.
Cone’s San Mig Coffee team lost to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the best-of-seven semis series, 4-2.
Asked if he’s pressured to defend the Commissioner’s Cup crown, the outspoken mentor snapped back, “If the coach isn’t pressured then there is something wrong. There’s always pressure to go out and win.”