The reigning two-time ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Local Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks Jr. proved he more than deserved to get the distinction, after playing one of his best games as a member of the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in Game Three of the Finals.
Parks scored a league record single-game postseason high for a local, pouring in 30 points, five rebounds, and two steals. He also shot a very efficient 52 percent from the field, all while playing terrific defense on Mono Vampire guards.
“Our principle right now is just defense, that’s our character and that’s what we bring to the table each and every night,” said Parks. “As a high scoring team, they definitely have weapons. Very talented.”
Head coach Jimmy Alapag also have nothing but praises for the son and namesake of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Bobby Parks, which is probably of no coincidence, used to play for the San Miguel Beer franchise and has also served as head coach of the team that participated in the ABL during the 2011-2012 season.
“I’m just really impressed with his growth as a player and person. Tonight was without a doubt, a MVP type of performance from him. The shots that he made, and more impressive than his offense was his defense on Jason (Brickman),” said Alapag, himself a decorated PBA legend and National Team member.
“I think he just continues to grow as a player. I was fortunate to spend time with Ray in the national team last summer,” Alapag continued to say about Parks, who he mentored when he served as an assistant coach for Gilas Pilipinas during the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.
Despite being stellar in Game Three, Parks deflects the credit and choose to laud his teammates and their collective effort in the win.
“This is what we live for, support each other in the game, not gonna let foul trouble handle me for all the hardworks and sacrifice that we made since October,” said Parks.
“At the end of the day, we are able to back each other up. When one man falls down, we will back each other up, and we stepped up all the way to the bench. The energy was good and we knocked down some shots.”
Playing with a chip on his shoulder after getting hurt and getting eliminated in the semifinals after going winless against the Singapore Slingers last season, Parks continue use his detractors as motivation to play better. Tired of hearing about him not playing in enough championship games, he has set out to get this one for the fans, and also for the flag.
“With this opportunity here, I just want to take advantage of it,” he adds. “It’s a beautiful thing that we can get a win not just for us, but for the country, and the people that we love, and each championship game is memorable, especially you are representing the Philippines.”
If there is anything Parks want more than to win a major championship in his young career, it’s winning one representing the country. He can do just that with a win on Monday.
“Karangalan talaga makapaglaro para sa bayan.”