By JONAS TERRADO
Ray Parks Jr. believes he had done everything in good faith during a six-month saga that led to an end of his PBA stint with the TNT Tropang Giga and the start of his Japan B.League foray with the Nagoya Diamond Dragons.
“Everything that I did was in good faith. And my heart was in the right place when it came to everything,” Parks told former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala during the latter’s Power and Play program in one of his first interviews since being signed by the Japanese club.
Parks and TNT figured in a contract dispute earlier this year when the two sides couldn’t agree on terms.
Things got messier when team owner Manny V. Pangilinan vented his ire on social media, showing a photo of Parks, who had earlier decided to skip the PBA season to deal with family matters, spending time in La Union.
TNT eventually released Parks last month, opening the door for his entry as the latest Filipino cager to play in the B.League.
“My heart was in the right place when it came to everything. And it was very clear that I want to prioritize my family and, you know, taking care of my family,” he said. “I didn’t go into specifics or what or anything like that. But at the end of the day, I did everything with a good heart.
“People may not understand it right now — or will they ever, probably — but the people around me, and the people nearest and dearest to me, know that my character holds true and that, like I said, I did everything from a loving standpoint in a sense. So I’ll allow the people that I’m nearest to and closest to me to vouch for me and to know my part of the story,” he added.
Parks did offer an apology for any misunderstanding that led to the situation, particularly to his former club and the PBA.
“When it came to the miscommunications and all that, I’d humble myself and just say I apologize for any misunderstanding whether it’s the TNT family, to the PBA, or even to the fans,” Parks said. “
“I just hope that they give me the benefit of the doubt that my heart was in the right place, and going forward that they can continue to support me in this journey. You may not like me but hopefully you can still support me as a fellow kababayan na nasa ibang bansa trying to represent our country.”
Parks is the fifth Filipino set to follow the footsteps of Thirdy Ravena, who played his maiden Japan stint last season for San-En Neophoenix.
Kiefer Ravena and Javi Gomez de Liano will play for the Shiga Lakestars and Ibaraki Robots while Juan Gomez de Liano and Kemark Carino are slated to suit up Earthfriends Tokyo Z and Aomori Wat’s of the B.League second division.