Ray Parks was cleared of a major injury yesterday as the National University star tries to lead the Bulldogs in their second and final attempt to clinch a championship berth in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament this week.
Parks came out of the dugout with a heavily bandaged hand after the game last Sunday due to an injury he sustained in the Bulldogs’ 71-62 loss to the underdog University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers that pushed their semifinal series into a do-or-die game.
Team officials said Parks had no fracture whatsoever but sustained a sprain on his left wrist and pinky finger.
“His X-ray is clear,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
Parks landed on his wrist after a baseline drive at the 3:22 mark as the Bulldogs rallied and trimmed the Tigers’ 18-point lead to a single digit.
The two-time MVP got back in the game, but described as “too low” a move by UST forward Kevin Ferrer to grab his injured hand.
“I guess they were thirsty for the win,” said Parks, the son of the late seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks. “But we have to come out and play with no intention to hurt somebody.”
The No. 1 Bulldogs aim to advance to the Finals for the first time in 43 years against the Tigers in their winner-take-all on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle, the No. 2 seed also holding a twice-to-beat edge, will shoot for the first title berth against Far Eastern University at 4 p.m. tomorrow also at MOA Arena.