Ray Parks on PBA debut: Blackwater win ‘most important thing’
MANILA, Philippines—Ray Parks was his own toughest critic on Sunday when he made his keenly-anticipated debut in the PBA.
Parks was triumphant in his first game, helping Blackwater survive Meralco, 94-91, in overtime at the start of the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.
The 26-year-old guard had a solid outing with 20 points and eight rebounds but what caught his attention more was his eight turnovers and 1-of-6 shooting from the three-point area.
Parks knows he still has a lot of room for improvement, but despite the errors and poor shooting, his performance was already enough to make a good account of himself.
“Just like I said before, Ray is a winner. He brings a lot of things to the table. It may not be all on scoring but he has shown his leadership here. He can make shots, he can defend even in the tightest situations and I’m happy for him,” said Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan. “We all welcome him here in the PBA.”
“Ray played good. First game in the PBA, it was an impressive game. Ray is really, really good,” said Elite import Alex Stepheson.
Stepheson led Blackwater with 21 points and 31 rebounds while Mike DiGregorio also shone with 21 points.
“We got the win, it’s the most important thing. Rough shooting night, still adjusting but at the end of the day we got the win,” said Parks.
“A win is a win but I know we have a lot to work on. We’re still hungry for more wins and we have to get better in order to beat the other top-tier teams. Kudos to Meralco, Meralco is a well-coached team, very talented. We just did a great job tonight holding on.”
PBA fans waited years for Parks to finally take his talents in the country’s top basketball league.
Parks, who spent his last three years playing for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League where he won a championship and three Local MVP awards, didn’t want to put too much into his debut and felt that it was just like “another day” for him.
“Just another day, I played in a lot of different leagues already. I understand that the PBA is the most prestigious league here and I just wanna do my work. As much as possible, try to get more wins than we had last conference,” Parks, who was the second overall pick by Blackwater in the 2018 PBA Draft, said.
“It’s good that now I’m in the PBA. Sana masaya na sila (I hope the fans are now happy). I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to help the team. I just wanna start this new chapter in my career in the PBA and I’m excited for it.”