From ABL to MPBL: Ray Parks says PBA stint still up in the air
MANILA, Philippines – Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. is back proving that the PBA is not the end-all, be-all for a Filipino basketball player.
On Thursday, May 10, the rapidly-expanding Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) announced that the former National University (NU) Bulldogs star has signed with the Mandaluyong El Tigre expansion team.
The announcement came after the 6-foot-4 combo guard just finished a spectacular season for the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Along with local talents Lawrence Domingo, JR Alabanza and Chris Sumalinog – who all tagged along with him in the El Tigre’s massive signing spree – Parks was instrumental in Alab’s 5-game stretch in the Finals with Thailand’s Mono Vampire Basketball Club.
The 25-year old finished with averages of 22.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists en route to being named the ABL Finals MVP, just days after also winning his second straight ABL Local MVP award for the season
Interestingly enough, it was Thailand who immediately came knocking at Parks’ door with a contract offer after the finals, which Parks – as we can now see – denied.
At this point, Parks has been everywhere but the PBA, which is still considered to be the country’s premier league.
After their Game 5 championship win, Parks did not reveal his intentions to the press, and instead just dropped a famous team slogan you may have heard of – jokingly, of course.
“When draft time comes, we’ll see, we’ll see. Never say die,” he said to laughing reporters. “You guys like that, huh?”
Although Parks has yet to don a PBA uniform, he has almost always proven to find success wherever he goes. After forgoing his final year of eligibility as an NU Bulldog in 2013, the two-time UAAP MVP declared for the 2015 NBA draft, but failed to get any takers.
Parks was invited, however, by the Dallas Mavericks to play in the Summer League, where he averaged 3 points and 1.7 boards as the first Filipino-born player to ever lace up in the NBA preseason.
After getting waived by the Mavs, Parks hopped down to the NBA D-League, where he was taken by the Texas Legends and Westchester Knicks. Unfortunately for him, he still wasn’t taken by any NBA team. But he would get his big break again with Alab Pilipinas in the ABL.
While PBA fans anxiously await the arrival of a surefire top pick, Parks doesn’t seem to be the least bit worried. After all, with him being a champion and an MVP, why would he be? – Rappler.com