|Ray-Ray Parks put up a masterful performance in Laguna. Glenn Tan/ABL|
By Ivan Saldajeno
STA. ROSA, Laguna--Last year, Ray-Ray Parks was the star of Alab Pilipinas.
But this year, especially with two-time PBA champion Justin Brownlee and former NBA first round pick Renaldo Balkman, Parks was somehow relegated to a third scoring option for the ABL's Philippine squad.
However, especially with Brownlee being quiet offensively on Wednesday night, Parks was faced with a task to shine as bright as the "super blood blue moon" just outside the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.
And the former Georgia Tech commit turned NU star delivered, scoring a season-high 31 points and led Alab to come-from-behind win against Nanhai.
[Related Story: Alab finally wins in Sta. Rosa after OT thriller against Nanhai]
But for the six-foot-four winger, it was still part of his role as a complement to Alab's world imports.
"I just do what the team needs me to do. We’re here to support the imports," Parks said after the game. "[It] doesn’t matter if it’s rebounding, having to defend the other best players just to lessen the load on Justin Brownlee and also on Renaldo Balkman. I’ll do whatever [it takes]. I don't care."
On his best performance this year, Parks stated, "We were looking for our imports like we usually do, pero their shots weren’t falling. So Coach Jimmy [Alapag] just trusted me and my teammates looked for me and got me going. I was able to connect on my shots."
On the stunning victory, he added, "It just feels great that we got the win. [Nanhai is] one of the best teams in the league to be honest."
Add to that, Alab finally got the W here, where the squad could not take one in its last three tries.
"Sobrang thankful kami na sinusuportahan pa rin kami ng Sta. Rosa people," Parks said of the raucous crowd. "It's just good na we're able to give the people of Sta. Rosa a win. It's something to be proud of and to talk about."
After the huge win against the Kung Fu, Parks said that Alab now aims at all the marbles.
"We’re gunning really for a championship and we’re doing everything that we can," he continued. "It takes a lot of sacrifice individually to play as a team. Whoever scores the most points, we don’t care. Anyone of us can pop out at any time."
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