Ray of Hope: Parks wants to play for Gilas in FIBA OQT

Top PBA rookie prospect Bobby Ray Parks believes he’s a much better basketball player following his recent NBA D-League stint with the Texas Legends.

The 6-foot-4 Parks has been in Manila for a week already.

He came to watch the opening game of the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, which Rain or Shine won, 105-97 against Alaska on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s a totally different Ray Parks, that’s for sure,” he told FOX Sports after watching Game 1 from the lower box with his agent Charlie Dy.

The former 2-time UAAP Most Valuable Player said since arriving in Manila, he has been going through twice-a-day workout with American skills development trainer Tyrone Gordon at the National University new basketball gym and the Village Sports Club in Paranaque.

The left-handed Parks said Gordon has helped him become a better player by breaking down film tapes, ball handling and reading defense.

The 23-year-old Parks though mentioned that he wasn’t able to show what he can do at Texas due to the limited opportunities he was given in the NBA D-League.

“Ball handling, shooting, all that, but it’s just sad I wasn’t able to show the whole package that I’ve been working on so hard for the whole year that I was in the U.S.,” explained the 2015 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup MVP.

Parks said his immediate goal this year is to play for Gilas Pilipinas, which will be shooting for no less than an Olympic spot in the Fiba qualifying tournament scheduled this July 5-10 in Manila.

“It’s really up for negotiation with boss Charlie right now, but I wanna represent my country through Gilas,” shared the 2-time Southeast Asian Games gold medallist.

“It’s really up to our conversation with coach Tab, up for debate. They (Gilas players) start practice soon, so we’ll try to get the conversation underway and try to get the agreement.”

Parks played 32 games for the Legends in the 2015-16 NBA D-League season, posting averages of 4.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.8 assist in 13.3 minutes of action.

The soft-spoken Parks was the 2nd Filipino to be drafted in the NBA D-League after Japeth Aguilar in 2012. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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