TNT optimistic of extending Parks contract soon; Dickel mum on Erram chase
TNT is looking to finally end a negotiations stalemate with Ray Parks Jr., whose contract expired at the end of the 2019 PBA season.
“We’re almost there. Maybe early this [coming] week, it [will be] done,” TNT team manager Gabby Cui told the Inquirer on Saturday.
The Inquirer reached out to Parks for comment but the talented former National University stalwart has yet to reply.
On Friday, at the sidelines of the Gilas Pilipinas practice, national team coach and TNT consultant Mark Dickel said he was optimistic he will still be handling one of the top rookies last season in the PBA.
“Obviously he’s a really good player,” Dickel said. Parks is also part of the national pool but hasn’t shown up for training yet. “Personally, I like him a lot.”
Dickel, though, acknowledges that as the impasse continues to drag, the situation becomes more awkward for the KaTropa, who are already building up for the coming PBA season.
“At the coaching side of it, you’d want players at practice, right? The other guys are working hard and he’s not there. So from that side of [things], it’s difficult,” he said.
But in the same breath, Dickel is sympathetic to Parks’ predicament.
“Negotiations sometimes are hard. You [try to] get the best deal you can and the management is trying to do the same,” he said.
An Inquirer source earlier revealed Parks is being used as a trade bait by TNT, but Dickel denied that and has been, in fact, constantly communicating with the 24-year-old star.
“I’ve had lots of conversations with [Ray] before this came down,” he said. “He just wants to get the best deal as does the management. So there are no [hard] feelings [from] either way.”
Dickel also refused to discuss his team’s reported bid for the services of NLEX big man Poy Erram, who is also a member of the Gilas pool.
“I could not comment on anything that I don’t know to be 100 percent factual,” he said. “That’s all I can say.”
“However,” he quickly added. “I’ll say [things] when I know it’s for sure. But it would be great [to have Erram]. No question.”
TNT’s stretch of dominance in the league came at a time when it brandished the likes of hulking Asi Taulava in its roster.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.