Ray Parks on Gilas’ Fiba Asia exit: We gave our best, we played with heart
MANILA, Philippines — Bobby Ray Parks Jr. believes the young Gilas Pilipinas team still gave its best and played with “puso (heart)” despite its ninth place finish in the 2022 Fiba Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Philippine men’s basketball team’s journey ended with an 81-102 defeat to Japan in a knockout match, missing the tournament’s quarterfinals for the first time since 2007 in Tokushima, where it also placed ninth.
“We play hard, we play with puso. We just need to channel that in the right manner,” said Parks, who led Gilas with 16 points in a losing cause on Tuesday at Istora Senan.
The Japan B.League import from Nagoya faced his teammates Yutaro Suda and Tenketsu Harimoto, who were part of Japan’s first win over the Philippines since Fiba Asia Championship 2003 and 2010 Asian Games.
Despite missing their goal to reach the top eight, Parks hopes the team, composed of young players who played in the Asian Cup for the first time, will learn from this setback.
“We fell short of the goal, but at the end of the day, we give our best. It was a learning curve for us, there’s a lot more stuff that we need to learn, but we’re a young group and we just have to take this loss on the chin,” he said.
The former UAAP MVP out of National University was a late addition to the undermanned squad, which lost naturalized center Ange Kouame due to a partial ACL tear, and Dwight Ramos ruling out with shin splints.
Parks averaged 13.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in his national team comeback since the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
Gilas’ next stint is in August for the second round of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian qualifiers. Parks vows to bounce back if given another opportunity to play for his country.
“It’s too bad but we’ll bounce back in the next window,” he said.
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