Gabe Norwood thinks Ray Parks’ versatility is key for Gilas

National team veteran Gabe Norwood is convinced that 2-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks can contribute a lot to Gilas Pilipinas, whose Road to Rio begins this July 5 at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament in Manila.

Norwood said the left-handed Parks’ versatility will benefit Gilas should he make the final 12.

“He’s (Parks) talented, man. Great to see his progression. He’s got a lot better as a player, more confident in all of his moves,” Norwood said after Wednesday’s Gilas practice at the Meralco gym.

The 6-foot-4 Parks polished his skills in the US during his 1-year stay there that saw him play for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League, before seeing action for the NBA D-League via the Texas Legends.

But Norwood isn’t threatened at all with Parks.

“He’s versatile in all aspects of the game. He’s one guy who can play the 1,2 and 3 (positions) and really help us in many aspects,” he said. “As we move forward, I’m sure coach Tab has something in his sleeves to see how he can really contribute.”

The George Mason alumnus said what’s noticeable is the level of freedom Baldwin is giving the Gilas players during practice.

“I think we have a lot of freedom. And I think coach is pretty smart,” said the 2009 top PBA Rookie pick.

“I think he (Baldwin) said it best that you can’t keep in (the players) in a box. You gotta freelance and go and I think it works to a lot of our strengths,” he added. — By Richard Dy