Rain or Shine’s 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign took a huge blow on Saturday as prolific import Denzel Bowles went down with an apparent knee injury in their game against the Alaska Aces at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Elasto Painters eventually survived, 86-84 to improve to 4-5 in the team standings. But with their no. 1 option down, their immediate future is hanging in the balance.
“He felt that something cracked in his knee. Most likely, he’ll be out. Sayang,” said Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia after the match.
Bowles, a champion for the B-Meg Llamados back in 2012 and a PBA regular, managed to score 16 points before injuring his knee on a knee-to-knee contact late in the 2nd quarter with his squad leading, 39-36.
The injury comes at an unfortunate time as the Elasto Painters are jockeying for position and are hoping to make it deep into the conference playoffs.
Garcia even relayed that Bowles has been vocal to his teammates lately, a mark of good chemistry developing inside the ROS camp in the deep stages of the elimination round.
“Yesterday’s practice, it was his first time talking to everybody. He is a very silent type of an import but you could feel him,” shared Garcia.
“Medyo malakas pa nga ang boses niya na he feels we are a good team. He asked the locals to play the way we played in the all-Filipino. He’s here to help us all the way. He wanted to win … It happens.”
Bowles was averaging close to 29 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.3 BPG in the conference while shooting an efficient 59% from the floor, anchoring the Elasto Painters throughout the mid-season tournament.
Rain or Shine’s management will now be left with a vital decision to shop for an immediate replacement for Bowles.