MANILA, Philippines - From a starring role in the PBA, B-Meg import Denzel Bowles may be headed to the biggest basketball stage of all - the National Basketball Association.
It appears that his sterling performance in the PBA Commissioner's Cup has caught the attention of three NBA teams, one of which is the San Antonio Spurs, which have moved nearly effortlessly to the next round of the current NBA playoffs.
The Spurs, along with the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors, have invited Bowles to their respective training camps in June. If he performs well in these camps, an NBA contract may just be next for the 6-foot-10 player.
Bowles was named Best Import and played a dominant role for B-Meg which beat Talk 'N Text in the best-of-seven PBA Commissioner's Cup championship series.
His 39-point, 21-rebound performance in Game 7 lifted the Llamados to a 90-86 overtime win over the Texters last Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
"My agent had told me that the Spurs and the Warriors are really interested and they had me coming into camp. So those are the teams I'm going to check out this summer," said Bowles who left the country last night.
"They just saw what was going on. They follow how well I was playing and they just contacted my agent and my agent contacted them. They have been following me all the way since Lithuania. I have always been like, on the map, right between. So hopefully, I get the chance," added Bowles.
Also interested were the Toronto Raptors who called him in the middle of this interview last Monday at his rented condominium unit in Ortigas.
"These guys, giving me a chance to play in the NBA, it's just a blessing," said Bowles, a 23-year-old product of James Madison University, an NCAA Division 1 team.
He said that he is going to spend some time with his family in Virginia Beach in the United States and prepare for the camps in June.
Bowles one of the youngest imports to play in the PBA, was recruited by B-Meg coach Tim Cone through his contacts from the Toronto Raptors.
"Coach Tim, he has a friend on the team. He told me that Toronto talked to them first and told him that they 'liked Denzel'. That's why he came to see me play because they said, 'Go and check out Denzel'," he recalled.
Cone, according to Bowles, went to his school to watch him in action. Bowles said it helps that Cone's daughter also attended James Madison.
"That's how he got me out here. When I didn't make it to the NBA, that's when he wanted me. It was all like a cycle," Bowles said.
He said he is going to bring with him to the NBA the skills he learned in the country's 37-year-old league, most particularly on the defensive end.
"He's (Cone) definitely given me the right mentality to play the next level. He sees people that way and he feels I have the skills set to do it and that's why he makes some calls for me and that's why Toronto called," he said. "Coach Tim believed in me. That's all I need. Somebody to believe in me, that's it."
Asked which team he would like to play for, he said that it would not matter for as long as he is given the chance to live his dream, just like B-Meg which gave him the opportunity to play in the PBA.
Despite a looming career in the world's biggest basketball league, he said that it would be hard for him to leave the country.