ABL: Yes, that’s why Ray Parks Jr. is back-to-back Local MVP

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 28, 2018 09:27 PM
ABL: Yes, that’s why Ray Parks Jr. is back-to-back Local MVP
Ray Parks Jr. had all the answers for Alab Pilipinas each and every time Mono Vampire was mounting a rally

BANGKOK, THAILAND – Ray Parks Jr. had all the answers for Alab Pilipinas each and every time Mono Vampire was making a run in Game 3 of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League Finals.

“Tonight, without a doubt, that was just an MVP type performance,” head coach Jimmy Alapag after Parks Jr. scored eight of his 30 points in the last three minutes to will the Filipinos to the big-time win on Saturday at the Stadium 29 here.

The Philippines’ swingman was hailed as the league’s Local MVP for the second straight season last Wednesday.

Three days later, it was through his hot hands that they find themselves one win away from the country’s first championship since 2013.

In the eyes of Alapag, the way Parks Jr. has been coming through in the playoffs is just a testament to his continued development. “Ray-ray, he’s just continuing to grow as a player. I was fortunate enough to spend time with him in (Gilas Pilipinas) and now in Alab, I’ve just really impressed with his growth,” he said.

For the back-to-back Local MVP himself, continuing to develop is just what he should do – especially now that he’s in the Finals. “Y’all been grinding me about not playing in a lot of championships. Now I’m here, I’m just gonna take this opportunity,” he told reporters.

Among his two ABL Local MVPs and two UAAP MVPs, his first and, thus far, only major title came with the Hapee Fresh Fighters in the PBA D-League.

And so, now that the Southeast Asian crown is well within his reach, Parks Jr. is giving his all to get it.

Not even foul trouble could stop him. “After Game 1 (when I fouled out), I told myself I’m not gonna foul out again. This is what we live for – championship games,” he shared, answering a question as to how he overcame incurring three fouls in the first half of Game 3.

He then continued, “I’m not gonna let foul trouble hinder me. I truly appreciate the coaches for trusting me enough to know I won’t foul out.”

Not even oncoming home team Mono could stop him – and even opposing head coach Douglas Marty had to acknowledge that. As he put it, “Parks had a tremendous game. He hit key baskets. Every time it looked like the momentum was gonna go to us, we needed Parks to miss those shots.”

After a short pause, he continued, “He didn’t.”

Indeed, Alab’s 11-point lead inside the last five minutes turned to just 83-87 before Parks Jr. went off.

He first hit a three which was answered by Jason Brickman’s own long bomb, hit another three which was answered by Mike Singletary’s long two and Teerawat Chanthachon’s inside basket that pulled Mono within 90-93.

Off a timeout, however, the reigning and defending two-time Local MVP just found a way through the standout defense of Paul Zamar to swish a jumper that took the fight out of the home team once and for all.

Because of that, Alab Pilipinas is one win away from the championship.

Because of that, Ray Parks Jr. is one win away from the championship.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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