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Why fans love Denzel Bowles

REMEMBER that moment when a sports commentator delivered the phrase “Talk N Text wins the Commissioner’s, oh wait a minute, wait a minute, there’s a foul” and Denzel Bowles was sent to the pressure cooker?

Like a man with ice on his veins, Bowles sank the biggest free throws of his basketball career with no time left in regulation to send the game to overtime. He got the job done in the extra period, making 11 points in overtime to steer B-MEG, the Purefoods franchise’s former name, to a come-from-behind victory over the Tropang Texters in Game 7 of the Commissioner’s Cup finals three years ago.

Purefoods fans won’t forget one of the greatest moments in franchise history and it’s no surprising why Bowles is back for another tour of duty – his third with the team – as the Hotshots hope to relive the same championship feeling that happened not so long ago.

Fans love winners and that’s the reason why they love Denzel.

As early as last year, they were flooding Bowles’ Twitter timeline, asking him with questions ‘when will you return? Will you be our import for the Commissioner’s Cup?’ and sending messages of hope like ‘good luck, hope to see you soon.’

On Friday night, it became official when Purefoods coaching staff requested the PBA Office for Bowles’ measurement and put him on standby to play in time for the game against Barangay Ginebra.

The well-wishers had to hold their collective breath until Saturday afternoon and heaved a sigh of relief when Bowles was measured below 6’9”, which made him eligible to play for Sunday’s game.

Purefoods Star fans came in full force, and most of them were there to see Bowles play.

James Yap, who was in civilian clothes got the loudest cheers even though they’re aware he won’t be able to help out in the game to rest his minor injury.

Purefoods Star fans didn’t go home disappointed, even though the team lost to Ginebra. They were thrilled to see Bowles, who showed a lot of promise in his first game back. He had 31 points, 25 of them coming in the second half, as he nearly carried the team to victory.

Bowles is the ideal import for a team that carries a brand mostly associated with kids. A young player, who was even accompanied by his mother the first time he went to play in the Philippines, the Virginia native is perceived to be young at heart.

“Fans love him, his teammates love him, everybody loves him,” said head coach Tim Cone on Bowles.

Bowles has a mutual admiration with Pinoy fans, saying he quickly has an attachment with them.

“I’m excited for them, too. Fans want me back and I want to come out there every night and give my all,” said Bowles.

Following a promising start, Bowles is expected to get better with the team. He has about six days to prepare for the next game and by that time, the former Best Import is likely to be back on top of his game – and hopefully put Purefoods Star back on top, like he did three years ago.

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