B-Meg import Denzel Bowles turned out as good as advertised – at least in his first game in the
local pro league.
The 6-foot-10 European league veteran churned out 27 points and 11 rebounds in a solid PBA debut, leading the Llamados to a 96-93 win over the Meralco Bolts on opening night of the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday.
He obviously got tired playing 36 minutes but nonetheless played tough and helped the Llamados
through versus Jarrid Famous and his Meralco teammates.
“A lot of people talk about him (Bowles) for good reason,” said B-Meg coach Tim Cone.
“Denzel played about 24 minutes a game in Lithuania, and he’s now playing 36 minutes a game
here. It will take sometime for him to get used to it. But once he does, he’ll be something
else,” Cone added.
James Yap and the other key B-Meg local players provided the needed support as the Llamados got off to a winning start following their sorry fold-up in the Philippine Cup.
“It was actually a struggle, but it’s always a struggle in the first game. You’re not clean
with what you do. But it’s good to get the first win under your belt,” said Cone.
The Llamados, topping the Philippine Cup eliminations only to be eliminated by the Powerade Tigers in the first stage of the playoffs, had a rollercoaster ride, emerging victorious in regaining control towards the end of the third period.
Bowles, Yap and Josh Urbiztondo stood at the forefront of B-Meg’s bid as they overcame 11-point
deficits in the third period and led by as many as 13 in the fourth.
Urbiztondo set up Bowles for two thunderous jams to highlight their romp.
“Me and Josh have been working on it,” said the B-Meg import after the game.
Bowles went 10-of-17 from the field and 7-of-12 from the stripe to pace the Llamados.
Mac Cardona led all scorers with 32 points while Famous produced 24 points and 15 rebounds for
Prior to the game, Famous worked out with the Bolts for just three days, being a mere replacement to the injury-hit Jelani McCoy.
New Meralco acquisition Paul Artadi contributed 13 points, three assists and one rebound while Chris Ross, coming from an injury, finally played extended minutes, chipping in nine rebounds, seven points and five assists.
Former Ginebra player JC Intal joined Bowles, Yap, Urbiztondo and Joe Devance in the starting lineup in his B-Meg debut. He scored 10 points though used for only one minute in the second half.
Cardona got away with a perfect shooting with a triple, a charity and six twinners as Meralco took the half at 46-43.
The Llamados started strong, setting the pace in the first quarter, 33-18, but the Bolts hit their stride in the second period, outscoring B-Meg, 28-10.
Artadi sparkled in the second quarter with 2-of-3 shooting in both the three-point area and the
two-point zone. The whole Meralco team overwhelmed B-Meg with a 52.4 field-goal shooting in this
The Bolts stretched their lead to 11 early in the third before the Llamados regained their bearing and moved back on top at 69-68.
Urbiztondo beat the buzzer with a breakaway layup off a steal by PJ Simon as the Llamados led,
73-71, going into the payoff period. (SB)
B-MEG 96 - Bowles 27, Yap J. 18, Urbiztondo 10, Intal 10, Simon 10, De Vance 7, Yap R.7, Pingris 5, Barroca 2, Reavis 0, De Ocampo 0.
MERALCO 93 - Cardona 32, Famous 24, Artadi 13, Ross 7, Borboran 6, Hugnatan 6, Macapagal 3, Espinas 2, Timberlake 0, Taulava 0.
Quarters: 33-18, 43-46, 73-71, 96-93