Ray Parks makes Gilas pool; Baldwin wants him in the team ‘now’
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Saturday released its 24-man pool for the Olympic qualifying tournament that will be submitted to Fiba next week.
And of the 24 players, one name stood out from the list in Bobby Ray Parks Jr.
“No expectations. He’s a real fine basketball player,” said Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin on Parks’ inclusion to the pool following Ateneo’s 93-91 loss to University of the East at the start of the 10th Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.
“And we want him at Gilas now and I think he’s got a future with Gilas so it’s time to bring him in the pool and as long as he’s confirmed that he will be available then we want him,” added Baldwin, who also calls the shots for the Blue Eagles.
Parks, a two-time UAAP MVP out of National University, has spent the past 12 months in pursuit of his NBA dream since representing the country in the Seaba tournament in April of last year where he and the rest of Gilas Cadets won the gold with Baldwin at the helm.
The 23-year-old Parks, who last saw action in the NBA D-League as part of the Texas Legends, returned to Manila last week.
Aside from Parks, his fellow Gilas Cadets teammates Kevin Ferrer, Kiefer Ravena, Roger Pogoy, Mac Belo and Russel Escoto also made the cut.
San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter, TNT veterans Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes and Ranidel de Ocampo, Barangay Ginebra’s troika of Greg Slaughter, LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, Alaska’s Calcin Abueva, GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood, Star’s Marc Pingris and Texters’ Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Troy Rosario are among the PBA players part of the list.
Rounding out the pool are Andray Blatche and Moala Tautuaa, who is listed as a backup to the former NBA veteran as Gilas’ naturalized player.
Rising NBA star Jordan Clarkson, who had committed himself to be part of the Gilas Pilipinas program, is not included.
From 24, the pool will be trimmed to 16 then down to the final 13, one of which will be a reserve.
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