Bowles says no to April Fools, fires 49 as Purefoods wins Game 1 vs. Talk 'n Text

MANILA, Philippines – If there is a PBA team that Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters want to beat the most… that would be Purefoods Star Hotshots.

Monster Bowles hits career high of 49 points | Credit:

Almost a month ago, the two protagonists faced each other for an out of town game in Davao City that went into a very rare triple overtime and controversial match where Coach Tim Cone beat Coach Jong Uichico by 1 point. Going back three years ago, BMEG – Purefoods broke Texters’ hearts by winning the Commissioner’s Cup title, 4-3.

And now, as early as the semis, the league’s second-seeded team, Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters tried to avenge their painful losses against their arch nemesis, the Purefoods Star Hotshots but failed once more, 100-94 on Wednesday, April 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, in Cubao Quezon City.

Most of the PBA Coaches have high respect on Coach Tim Cone’s “Triangle Offense” game ball philosophy which exists for almost couple of decades now in the league and has produced numerous titles for the American basketball mentor. But for the game one of their best-of-five series, Coach Cone looked to counter the fast phased game play of the Texters with his own version of run and gun.

Purefoods big men Marc Pingris, Joe Devance and their very reliable import Denzel Bowles sprinted the court coast to coast for an early double digit lead in the opening salvo of Game 1. Bowles was omni present in all ends of the floor and jotting down 18 points in the first and 29 points in the second period.

Explosive Ivan Johnson of Talk ‘N Text was limited by his counterpart and local Rafi Reavis to only 5 points and humiliated Johnson with a clear block shot on the third minute mark of the second period. Texters’ guards Jason Castro and Larry Fonacier took charge of their import’s scoring chores with 11 and 7 points apiece heading on to the locker room for the half time break. Purefoods was still on top, 51-36.

Second half Talk ‘N Text strategy was to contain hot shooting Bowles to close the scoring gap. But, the 6’10” Denzel Bowles was too strong and agile for Gilas Pilipinas Power Forward Ranidel De Ocampo who continued to score along with “Big Game” James Yap.

Marc Pingris also joined the scoring party. But with seven minutes left in the third quarter, the 6’6” Pingris accidentally stepped on comrade Joe Devance’s foot and sprained his left ankle. Purefoods’ coaching staff and medics rushed to him and pulled him out of the court to evaluate his injury. He was advised to be brought to the dugout for re-taping but the brave hearted forward refused and just tightened his shoe lace, stood-up, shook his ankle injury off and ready to come back into the ball game.

Eager to win and lift his team up, Ivan Johnson started to get hot in the third period by slashing and driving thru the basket for a 14-3 run to trim Hotshots’ lead to a single digit, 72-67 with two more minutes remaining in the penultimate quarter. Purefoods’ “Scoring Apostle” PJ Simon who was a sleeper in the first three quarters had his fair share to bring back their 11-point lead after 36 minutes of basketball action.

Talk ‘N Text owner, Manny V. Pangilinan was caught on camera jumping off his seat after a Ranidel De Ocampo trey to cut Hotshots’ 21-point lead in the first half to just one point with more than 8 minutes left in the final period.

Denzel Bowles stepped on the gas pedal to halt Texters’ momentum and tallied his 49th point of the ball game at the 2:56 minute mark of the fourth along with 10 boards against Ivan Johnson’s 33 points and 8 rebounds to take game one away from Tropang Texters.

Another Hotshot sleeper, Mark Andy Barroca wowed the crowd with his no look shot off Denzel Bowles’ missed jumper and followed by a near fist fight between Alex Mallari and Rookie Kevin Alas who were both given technical fouls.


Purefoods – Bowles 49, Yap 18, Mallari 8, Pingris 6, Simon 5, Barroca 4, Devance 3, Melton 3, Reavis 2, Maliksi 2, Pennisi 0

Talk ‘N Text – Johnson 33, Castro 19, De Ocampo 15, Fonacier 9, Alas 9, Ganuelas 7, Washington 2, Aban 0, Williams 0, Seigle 0

- D' Waterboy, TheSummitExpress

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