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PBA D-League: Parks Jr. in debut

Games Monday (JCSGO Gym, Cubao)
12 p.m. – CaféFrance vs Jumbo Plastic
2 p.m. – Blackwater Sports vs Boracay Rum
4 p.m. – Big Chill vs BDO

Bobby Ray ParksBlackwater Sports’ bid for a back-to-back championship will be put to a test when it battles dangerous Boracay Rum even as two-time UAAP MVP winner Bobby Parks makes his debut for BDO today in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.

The 2 p.m. showdown between Blackwater and Boracay is expected to be an emotional one since both teams figured in a tug-of-war for the right to own the services of Chris Banchero – the Fil-Italian guard known for his lightning speed and creative plays.

Jumbo Plastic, on the other hand, collides with CaféFrance at 12 noon while Parks and company take on the debuting Big Chill at 4 p.m.

After winning the Foundation Cup, Blackwater Sports immediately signed up Banchero during the off-season in an effort to further solidify their roster.

But the effort of the Dioceldo Sy-owned Blackwater to acquire the former ABL standout did not materialize when the league decided to hold its first-ever Rookie Draft this year.

The 6-foot-1 Banchero debuted impressively, scoring 15 points aside from dishing out four assists in leading Boracay to an 89-56 romp over Derulo Accelero last Tuesday.

It’s interesting to see if he could deliver another stellar performance against the team he almost played for.

If Jumbo Plastic and Boracay prevail, they will forge a three-way tie for the lead with Cagayan Valley.

Leo Isaac, the Blackwater Sports coach, was quick to downplay interest generated by this much awaited meeting.

“Our goal is to win. There will be no emotional issues involve when we play Chris and Boracay. Trabaho lang,” Isaac said as the Elite begin their campaign for a second straight championship.

Isaac is confident about their chances after scouting the Waves last Tuesday.

“I feel good about our chances. We have watched their game against Derulo while they have not seen us play a single game. I think it gives us some advantage.”

Jumbo Plastic practically had an easy time in its season debut, dumping NU-Banco De Oro, 76-56. But the Giants should have their hands full against the CaféFrance Bakers.

The Bakers (1-1) are hoping to make it two in a row after bouncing back from an opening day loss to the Rising Suns with a 70-67 win over Cebuana Lhuillier last Thursday.

But the Bakers may show up with a depleted lineup in the wake of Sunday’s PBA Annual Draft. Veteran guards Eloy Poligrates, Jens Knuttel and Ping Exciminiano as well as scoring forward Mike Parala have joined the Draft and Café France coach Egay Macaray was optimistic his chargers would be picked.

“If that happens, medyo malaki ang problema ko,” Macaraya said.

With their frontliners Jason Ballesteros, Jan Colina and Marion Magat asserting their height advantage and Jopher Custodio tallying 25 points, the Giants practically dominated the Bulldogs.

“I think we have a big and talented roster so I expect the team to figure prominently this season. But we need some more adjustments,” said Jumbo Plastic coach Steveson Tiu.

The Bulldogs played without Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. in their debut but coach Eric Altamirano expects his star forward to suit up in their scheduled 4 p.m. match against Big Chill.