MANILA, Philippines – Meralco rained on Denzel Bowles' PBA return parade as it zapped Rain or Shine in a 91-84 win in the 2019 Commissioner's Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, May 31.
Down by 6 points at halftime, the Bolts outscored the debuting Elasto Painters 45-32 in the final two quarters to pick up their second win in 4 games.
Rain or Shine managed to trim its deficit to 3 points, 84-87, off an Ed Daquioag triple before Nico Salva made it a five-point Meralco lead with a jumper at the 1:09 mark.
Gani Lawal, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds in the win, then put the nail in the coffin with a pair of free throws as the Elasto Painters failed to score a bucket in the final two minutes.
Anjo Caram came off the bench for the Bolts and contributed 17 points and 6 assists, while Chris Newsome chipped in 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, and Ranidel de Ocampo had 12 points.
Bowles, who last played in the PBA in 2016, played like he never left by chalking up 31 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks, but did not have much local support.
Daquioag and Beau Belga were the only other Rain or Shine players in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively, and a conjoined 17 rebounds.
Meralco 91 - Lawal 19, Caram 17, Newsome 16, De Ocampo 12, Salva 7, Hodge 6, Hugnatan 4, Canaleta 3, Amer 3, Jackson 2, Quinto 2.
Rain or Shine 84 - Bowles 31, Daquioag 13, Belga 12, Nambatac 8, Norwood 7, Mocon 4, Onwubere 3, Yap 3, Borboran 2, Torres 1, Ponferada 0, Alejandro 0, Rosales 0.
Quarters: 27-31, 46-52, 71-67, 91-84
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.