Purefoods nips Talk N' Text behind Bowles' 49 points | Inquirer Sports

Purefoods nips Talk N’ Text behind Bowles’ 49 points

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 09:10 PM April 01, 2015

Denzel Bowles. PBA Images

Denzel Bowles. PBA Images

Defending champion Purefoods leaned on a career night by import Denzel Bowles to withstood a late comeback by No. 2 Talk ‘N Text, 100-94, to gain a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five semifinals series of the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Bowles unleashed 49 points, just a point shy of matching a season-high set by Rain or Shine’s Wayne Chism and NLEX’s Al Thornton. He went 23-of-36 from the field and also had 10 rebounds and two blocks in 42 minutes.


Interestingly, Bowles’ previous career-high in the PBA was when he scored 39 points in Game 7 of the Finals of the same conference three years ago against the same team in Talk ‘N Text in overtime.


“We played a flawless first half and we spent so much energy in that first half and we kinda lost a lot of energy for the second half,” said Purefoods head coach Tim Cone, whose team blew a 21-point lead it built in the third quarter.

The lead wasn’t the only thing the Hotshots lost in this game. Purefoods also lost its star big man Marc Pingris to a sprained left ankle near the midway mark of the third quarter and did not return.

“He’s so crucial to all of our match ups defensively. Once he left the floor we were scrambling trying to figure out how to match up with them,” Cone said on the absence of Pingris.

Purefoods had a comfortable 67-50 lead before the dynamic Pingris came up hobbling after colliding with teammate Joe Devance that paved the way for Talk ‘N Text’s frenetic rally.

The Tropang Texters closed to within one, 84-83, after Ranidel de Ocampo buried an open 3-pointer with still 8:40 remaining.

But Bowles, who had 41 points through three quarters, was far from done. He accounted for Purefoods’ next eight points – scoring and assisting – to help the Hotshots reestablish a 92-85 lead with 4:05 left.


Two-time MVP James Yap came free off a screen and easily scored on a layup for a four-point swing before Mark Barroca starred in perhaps the play of the season so far when he rebounded the ball off an air ball by Bowles and simultaneously flipped it up and in with his back to the basket to beat the shot clock and clinch the game, 97-89, with 47.5 seconds left.

TNT import Ivan Johnson had 33 points while Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo added 19 and 15 points, respectively.

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The series resumes on Monday after the Holy Week break. The other semis showdown between top seed Rain or Shine and No. 4 Meralco continues on Sunday with the Elasto Painters looking for a 2-0 edge.

TAGS: Basketball, Denzel Bowles, PBA, Purefoods, Sports

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