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Parks: He got game

Game on Jan. 8
(Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
3 p.m. – Kaohsiung vs Alab PH

SINGAPORE – Bobby Ray Parks couldn’t help but be reflective with his growth as player as seen in his impressive performance for Alab Pilipinas in the early goings of the ASEAN Basketball League season.

Parks has had a productive 2016 which began with a stint with the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League followed by solid showing for Gilas Pilipinas in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena last July.

The former National University standout, however, was cut by the Westchester Knicks in the D-League preseason, opening the door for his ABL campaign where he has emerged as the leader of the Philippine squad that was playing the Singapore Slingers at presstime here.

Parks said his early season form, highlighted by a 41-point performance in the 93-87 home victory over the Kaohsiung Truth last Dec. 11, is a testament to the maturity he has shown since making his UAAP debut in 2011 under then-NU coach Eric Altamirano.

“Sobrang laki ng pagbabago sa sarili ko, being under Coach E, playing my first game back home na may frustration, may gigil, to now being more of a vet,” the 23-year-old Parks told a handful of Manila-based scribes last Saturday.
“I felt that sa sobrang dami kong na-experience over the past few years on and off the court that it helped me a lot as a player,” he added.

Parks is pleased that Filipino fans have appreciated his improved game, something he worked on during his stay in the United States where his NBA dream allowed him to play for the Dallas Mavericks in Las Vegas NBA Summer League in 2015.

“Sobrang thankful ako na nakapaglaro ulit ako sa Pilipinas, and naaaccept ako ng mga tao,” Parks said. “Coz even coming back, madaming nag-doubt, madaming nag-disagree sa decision ko. But they’re slowly starting to see that in the year and a half na nawala ako, di napunta sa wala.

“I actually worked hard, I actually got better, and to think of it, it shows sa hardwork na pinapakita ko on and off the court. Nothing’s force, everything’s more controlled at napolish naman yung game ko.”

But Parks is far from satisfied. In fact, his trainer Tyrone Gordon is set to come to Manila after the New Year celebration to continue the work they have done since his D-League campaign.

As for his NBA dream, Parks insists that it’s far from done. For now, though, he is keen on making Alab Pilipinas a serious contender.