For 23-year-old Denzel Bowles, the two free throws to send Game Seven of the Commissioner’s Cup finals into overtime were the biggest challenge of his young basketball career.
His coach, Tim Cone, had his doubts if he’ll pull through.
“For some reasons, I had doubts Denzel would make his free throws, so I put in two big guys there just in case he misses it,” he said.
But Bowles was confident after his intial shot hit nothing but net.
“When I made the first free throw, I knew I was going to make the second one,” he said.
“I’ve never been in this situation before, but these shots were the biggest shots of my career. I’m glad that I got an opportunity to win a championship.”
Bowles ran back to the bench in tears, overcome with emotion with those two shots that had the mammoth Sunday crowd of 21,046 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
But instead of shrinking, the tournament’s Best Import came through in the overtime period, scoring 11 of his team’s 14 points to finish with 39 points along with 21 rebounds, to lead the B-MEG Llamados past the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 90-84.
At the end of the game, Bowles was overcome with emotion, embraced the basketball while lying on the Big Dome floor.
After the game, he confessed he had doubts about his team winning the championship.
“With six minutes left, I don’t think we’re winning, but when [Talk 'N Text import Donnell] Harvey fouled out, that gave us life. I didn’t want us to lose championship. I didn’t want to mess up like in Game 2,” he added.
He dedicated his victory to his mother, his biggest fan who flew all the way from the United States to watch him earlier in the series.
“I know my mom is crying now, because this victory is a breakthrough for my family.”
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