Grieving Parks carries NU past San Beda in Filoil pre-season openerBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA. Philippines — Bobby Ray Parks uncorked a triple to send National University into overtime then towed his squad to a 73-71 nipping of San Beda Saturday in the 2013 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena.
Parks, whose father Bobby — a seven-time best import in the PBA — recently passed away, also chipped in four points in overtime including a bucket with 1:14 left which put the Bulldogs ahead for good.
Parks also nailed the game-tying triple with 2.5 seconds left in regulation after the Red Lions left the Bulldogs with a flicker of hope as Baser Amer split his freethrows.
And in every crucial shot he made, Parks pointed up to the sky — which has something he’s done since his then-girlfriend passed away in 2012.
“I’ve been doing that since [UAAP] season 75 – that was for Maan Panganiban. This season, for my dad,” said Parks whose father passed away a few weeks ago due to lingering ilness.
The reigning UAAP MVP put up his usual numbers as he finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steal.
But the Bulldogs were far from sharp form this game, struggling to seize control from the Red Lions and only getting a taste of the lead anew late in the fourth quarter.
“Obviously, wala pa game namin, we’re not yet there. The fluidity of our offense is not yet there, and we’re still having mistakes with our defensive rotations,” said head coach Eric Altamirano.
Altamirano missed the services of Gelo Alolino and Emmanuel Mbe, but drew solid numbers from new Cameroonian reinforcement Alfred Aroga.
The 21-year-old Aroga chipped in 16 points, along with 12 rebounds in his first collegiate basketball game after serving out two years of residency.
Rome Dela Rosa and Ola Adeogun, meanwhile, scored 14 points apiece for the Red Lions, who led by as much as eight in the third quarter.
San Beda was in the lead for majority of the game, and had the chance to wrap it up as Parks missed an attack with 13.3 seconds left.
But Amer, who missed half of his shots from the stripe (3-of-6), misfired on the first freethrow attempt with 10 seconds left before Parks’ trey.
They took the lead anew in OT, 69-66, with 2:05 left to play on a basket by Art Dela Cruz before allowing the Bulldogs to go on a final 7-2 run.