ANTIPOLO -- Outplayed by his Phoenix Pulse counterpart through the first three quarters, Denzel Bowles turned things around in the payoff period and keyed an 89-82 win by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters over the Fuel Masters in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Sports Center here Sunday night.
Bowles poured in 16 of his 28 points in the final canto and really took over the game as Richard Howell fouled out with 3:40 left to play.
For good measure, Rey Nambatac also delivered in the crunch as the Elasto Painters made it two in a row while dealing the Fuel Masters a third straight loss.
"It's a dogfight of a game, and it's a great team win for us in the end," said Bowles, finishing with 28 on 11-of-14 field clip plus 14 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block against five turnovers.
Howell made a big turnaround from his eight-point debut with Phoenix only to leave the game early on fouls. His 27 points and 11 boards went for naught as the Fuel Masters went 0-of-2 during the two-game suspension of their head coach Louie Alas.
The Elasto Painters came through with a 14-6 closing salvo on Howell's exit.
"It's a tied game in the first three quarters and we wanted to fight through," said Bowles.
Minus Howell, the Fuel Masters stayed in the lead for the last time at 80-77 on a rare three-point play by Matthew Wright.
But Mark Borboran hit a twinner then Bowles came up with a three-point play to touch off a 9-0 roll that pushed ROS ahead to stay at 86-80.
Nambatac fired a trey then took a trip to the line as acting Phoenix coach Topex Robinson was whistled a technical foul for entering the floor with the play still on.
Coming from a career-best 30-point game, Nambatac still had a decent outing with 11 markers, three rebounds and three assists.
Javee Mocon and James Yap made big impact coming off the bench.
Mocon piled up double-double numbers with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Yap also scored 15 markers. (SB)