Bowles, Mixers battle Painters

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Bowles returns in the PBA. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA

Denzel Bowles returns to the site of the biggest victories of his career starting Friday as he tries to rescue San Mig Coffee from a shaky start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

With a 0-2 record despite a solid local crew, the Mixers will come into the 7:30 p.m. game  with Rain or Shine and the 7-foot-3 Bruno Sundov at Mall of Asia Arena with a much higher confidence level.

San Mig sent Matt Rogers to its Asean Basketball League team and was just happy to get Bowles, last season’s Best Import, back earlier than expected.

Bowles came here as a 21-year-old last year and won the first championship of his career, forging overtime in Game 7 with two free throws in the dying seconds before leading the Mixers past Talk ‘N Text in a rubber match to remember.

His Best Import trophy was also his first major award.

Now with a solid inside presence anchored on Bowles, life could be easier for two-time MVP James Yap and Peter June Simon. Marc Pingris and Joe Devance will now have help inside, making the Mixers as dangerous as the other powerhouses in the tournament.

“It’s great to have Denzel back with us,” coach Tim Cone said. “We have a special chemistry with Denzel that all the players felt right away.”

Rain or Shine won’t be a pushover, though, with Sundov around and Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee and a host of unsung heroes ready to step up for coach Yeng Guiao.

Meanwhile, Barako Bull tries to bounce back from a defeat when it battles Air21 at 5:15 p.m.

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