Former PBA import shines in NBA summer league


Posted at Jul 16 2012 03:29 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2012 04:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Former B-Meg Llamados import Denzel Bowles made an impact in the 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas while playing for the New Orleans Hornets.

Denzel Bowles battles Donnell Harvey during Game 3 of the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. Photo by Marc John Villanueva for

Bowles came off the bench, played 19 minutes and tallied a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Hornets' 82-85 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Hornets' lottery pick, Austin Rivers, scored 14 points.

The Trail Blazers were led by Damian Lillard's 25 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Bowles played for the Llamados in the PBA Commissioner's Cup earlier this year and and was named Best Import of the conference.

He led the Llamados to the championship, tallying 39 points and 21 rebounds in the title-clinching Game Seven against the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

"It definitely matured me. I was the youngest out there and I had a lot of guys guiding me," Bowles said when asked about his time in the PBA.

"I was the only rookie on the team and I grew through the season. They helped me become a man, basically," he added.

Following the Commissioner's Cup, Bowles was contacted by the Hornets, the San Antonio Spurs, the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.

In their scouting report on Bowles, the blog "Hornets 24/7" noted that he was comparable to "a poor man's Dwight Howard" and commended his post game.

But they also said that Bowles' "motor and motivation" are in question, and that he will have to adjust to competing against players who are bigger and more skilled than those he played against in the PBA.

"They had a lot of good veterans over there, big bodies over there, imports over there and a couple of guys who played in the NBA, like Donnell Harvey," Bowles said. "There were a lot of big guys over there and I'm used to it."

Meanwhile, Bowles' coach in the PBA, Tim Cone, congratulated the big man through Twitter.

"If Denzel can stay focused and consistent, he can be an impact player for the Hornets," Cone said.

The Hornets will play against the Milwaukee Bucks on July 16, the Phoenix Suns on July 18, the Dallas Mavericks on July 20 and the Golden State Warriors on July 21.