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Parks turned down invitation to join Gilas pool, says Guiao

MANILA, Philippines – Ray Parks has turned down an invitation to be part of Gilas Pilipinas' pool for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, head coach Yeng Guiao revealed.

The Philippine team conducted its second practice session on Thursday, June 20, for the global hoops showdown and turned to Parks to offset the lack of players.

"Actually for today we invited Ray Parks but he declined. We're just going to have to look for some other people whom we can consider in the national pool," Guiao said. 

Parks donned the national colors in the past a myriad times, helping the country secure gold medals in the 2011, 2013, and 2017 Southeast Asian Games and the 2015 Southeast Asia Basketball Championship. 

A rookie in the PBA, Parks is playing beyond his years averaging 23.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.7 steals for a Blackwater squad that owns a 4-2 record in the Commissioner's Cup. 

"My understanding is he declined to be part of the pool. That's my understanding. What happened is I asked Ma'am Yvette Ruiz to get in touch with him," Guiao added in a mix of Filipino and English. 

"My understanding is he has other priorities." 

With Jayson Castro uncertain to see action in the World Cup, Guiao is banking on the possibility of Kiefer Ravena joining the pool as he nears the end of his 18-month suspension from FIBA.

Ravena will be allowed to practice starting Monday, June 24 – exactly two months before he can officially play basketball again in the PBA and for the national team. 

"We cannot afford to lose Jayson and Kiefer. The point guard position will really be depleted," Guiao said. (READ: Gilas looking at Ravena as Castro status uncertain for FIBA World Cup)

"I don't see any problem with Kiefer. By that time, he's going to be eligible. He will just catch up with his conditioning. Of course, he will not be in basketball shape. But I have full confidence that he's taking care of himself." 

Gilas has more than two months to prepare before the World Cup kicks off in China on August 31. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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