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Friday, April 27, 2012

The search for the Best Import in the Finals




At the start of the B-Meg versus Talk N Text PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, the damage Denzel Bowles unleashed on Ginebra import Jackson Vroman was still fresh in our minds.

Let’s face it – of the three SMC imports that started the conference, Bowles was not near the credentials of Ginebra reinforcement Chris Alexander and Petron hired gun Nick Fazekas. All we know is that Tim Cone visited her daughter in college and saw this seven-foot monster destroy his foes.

Little did we know that this little-known warrior turned out the best of the bunch?

Guaranteed a Best Import Award, what Denzel Bowles would like to end this conference kissing a B-Meg title.

“Easier said than done” said the players and staff of Talk N Text.

While the Llamados prevailed in Game One, B-Meg was wary of a Talk N Text attack in Game Two. During the clash the Tropang Texters started out strong but it wouldn’t take long for Bowles and the rest of the Llamados to make Chot Reyes go evil anew. Jayson Castro played insane with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists but so did James Yap with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 5-of-8 beyond the arc. Ryan Reyes, Ali Peek, and Kelly Williams combined for 33 points which was a point less of the combined output of Josh Urbiztondo, Peter June Simon, and Marc Pingris.

Denzel Bowles outscored Donnell Harvey, 33 to 29 but Harvey had more rebounds (14 to 13), assists (4 to 1), steals (1 to 0), and blocks (2 to 1) and had fewer turnovers (1 to 3).

The most important thing though is that Talk N Text managed to expose Bowles’ weakness.

Bowles is a phenom at 22 but taking those words in consideration… he is just 22.

I’m pretty sure that age doesn’t matter since he did bring B-Meg to the finals but Bowles’ immaturity showed during Game Two’s dying seconds. First up, he made a pivotal error when he threw the ball over to Harvey. If you check out the replays, it felt that Bowles was throwing a timebomb. You can see in his face (although he covered it with his jersey) that Bowles grew frustrated at the matter. And then, a couple of bad plays led to Bowles in the charity stripe. Bowles muffed both shots which could have been potential game changers.

When the Llamados won 104 to 102, those free throws were badly felt.

So coming to Game Three, I feel Bowles needs to settle down and let this game slide. I’m pretty sure he will learn from his mistakes. However for Talk N Text this is something they can exploit. Let us remember that what we saw in Game Two was reminiscent with the Ginebra outright semis berth tiebreaker and the first game of the B-Meg/Meralco encounter.

What Donnell Harvey is doing is what Earl Barron did against Bowles. Harvey usually gives the ball up to his teammates but in the finals he has been doing the offensive onslaught with his shot put-like aim. The Meralco Bolts were inches away from a semis seat but with the unfortunate events that happened on Macmac Cardona proved too much for their stand. B-Meg might have escaped the Bolts but TNT is a different animal. Aside from Castro and the aforementioned players, they still have Ranidel De Ocampo, Jared Dillinger, Larry Fonacier, and Jimmy Alapag. They also have a wonderful system piloted by Chot Reyes…

… Not to mention that they are now using their lucky white board named “Lucky Yellow”.

No question Bowles will have his numbers.

The question is if he can sustain it when the game is on the line?

Game Three should be a treat.

Game over!

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