MANILA, Philippines – It is still unknown whether top rookie Ray Parks will suit up for Blackwater in the PBA's season-opening 2019 Philippine Cup.
The Elite are seeking for the Commissioner's Office to decide on Parks' status since the No. 2 overall pick has reiterated his desire to finish his stint with Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Unlike other league newcomers, the 25-year-old combo guard has not signed the max rookie contract offered to him by Blackwater.
That means he will trek the same path top pick Christian Standhardinger took last year after skipping San Miguel's All-Filipino campaign to honor his commitment with Hong Kong Eastern in the ABL.
But the Elite management are arguing that Standhardinger – unlike Parks – had a board approval and resolution backing his plan to complete his season with Hong Kong first.
"We want the Commissioner's Office to decide on this," Blackwater governor Silliman Sy told reporters after the league's press conference for the upcoming 44th season on Tuesday, January 8.
"Christian has this board resolution and board approval but we are verifying this muna," he added. "Titingnan muna 'yung past resolutions then he will decide on it after he does his research on this one."
(Christian has this board resolution and board approval but we are verifying this first. We will look into past resolutions and the commissioner will decide on it after he does his research on this one.)
Sy, though, admitted that Parks made it clear in his draft application that he still has an existing commitment with Alab and intends to honor it, especially since the team is determined to defend the title it won in 2018.
Blackwater could miss its prized rookie at least until May if Alab makes a deep playoff run.
"I did talk with Ray and he will also respect the commissioner's decision."
"Malinaw din siya, nakasaad naman 'yun to be fair with the boy," Sy added, referring to Parks' draft application.
(It was clear in his draft application that he wrote he still has an existing commitment with Alab just to be fair with the boy.)
"We wait and see the next coming days kung ano ang decision ni commissioner. Pero Blackwater – with open arms – we would like him to play lalo ngayong kulang kami sa height," Sy said.
(We wait and see the coming days what decision the commissioner will make. But for us in Blackwater – with open arms – we would like him to play especially now that we lack height.)
Blackwater begins its season against NorthPort on January 16 at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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.