Last Sunday night, the Purefoods Star Hotshots fans were more animated than the Ginebra diehards in their Manila Clasico encounter in the Commissioner’s Cup.
The reason: They all wanted to see their beloved import Denzel Bowles at work, helping the Hotshots’ campaign.
The team played without its top gun James Yap and another scorer, Allein Maliksi, but they managed to push the Gin Kings to the limit only to fall short in the end.
Bowles, who led the franchise’s former team B-Meg to a championship in the same tournament three years ago, was happy with the reception.
“I’m so excited for the fans. They showed me love. They’ve been flooding me with messages on Twitter and they wanted me to come back and play. Sunday was a perfect time against Barangay Ginebra and I’m happy with the support,” Bowles said.
He finished with 31 points, 25 of them coming in the second half as he nearly single-handedly carried the Hotshots’ rally in the fourth period.
For the former Best Import, there’s nowhere to go but up for the Hotshots.
“I’m still adjusting, but it will only take a little time. We just have to jell as a team. On Sunday, you can expect us to play better,” said Bowles.
Bowles played his first game barely two days since arriving in the country. He returned late Friday night coming from the US where he had a short vacation after playing for a few months in China and leading his team to the playoffs.
He came in great shape, but he is still trying to feel his way back on the team as made evident by his seven turnovers.