2018 PBA Draft Baller Breakdown: Bobby Ray Parks Jr.
Marco Benitez on Dec 15, 2018 05:18 PM
Parks is a two-time UAAP MVP, a two-time local ABL MVP and a three-time SEA Games gold medalist.The son of the late Bobby Parks Sr, a seven-time best import in the PBA, is the most decorated, and most experienced of all draft hopefuls. His resume speaks for itself. Ray-Ray is one of only a handful of two-time UAAP MVP winners in the history of the league. He is also a three-time Mythical Five member. In the PBA D-League, he was a league MVP in 2015, having steered his team to the championship in that same year. He is the first Filipino-born player to play in the NBA Summer League, and one of two who have seen action in the NBA D-League. He has represented the country in multiple international competitions, being a member of the Gilas Cadets (SEABA and SEA Games) and a member of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that saw action in the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers in 2016 and the 2017 SEA Games (of which he is a three-time gold medalist).
In international club competition, Parks is in his third season with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas of the Asean Basketball League, where he is the reigning two-time local MVP, helping lead his team to the ABL Championship in just their 2nd season in the league. Last season he averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per ballgame.
Where physical attributes and athleticism are concerned, there are none in this draft that are comparable to Ray in terms of height and athleticism at the guard position, save probably for CJ Perez. Parks however, has the handles and the court vision to play the point guard position, having done so for most of his collegiate and post-collegiate career thus far. At 6’4”, he is tall for a point guard, even for PBA standards. This, coupled with his natural strength, makes him a difficult match-up for most at his position, while also allowing him to defend all but the center position. In the ABL for example, he has drawn many of the world imports as his defensive assignments, and has held his own with the best of them.
Offensively, Parks possesses the complete arsenal. Gone are the days when defenders would back off of him from the three-point line. He has proven in the ABL that he is a reliable, even deadly, three-point shooter. His ballhandling, quickness and strength make him a hard cover one-on-one both in the perimeter and in the post. He has a wide range of moves down low, and has near mastered that one-footed fadeway. What makes him even more deadly is his willingness to create opportunities and find open teammates.
Rayray Parks is 7/7 from beyond the arc 😏 pic.twitter.com/EtrdSvrPhg— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) January 27, 2017
Defensively, his ability to defend the world imports of the ABL both in the perimeter and in the post already puts him a cut above most draft hopefuls. When he is engaged, which is now often the case, he plays on ball and off-ball defense well, able to pick of passing lanes and blocking shots at the rim (he averaged 1.1 steals and close to a block per game in the ABL last season).
In terms of weaknesses, there are a few, if any. And probably the only notable one is that there are corners that still believe that his not winning a title with NU, despite his MVP awards, is a knock on his mindset or attitude. I would tend to think that his performance in the ABL, capped with their championship last season, has silenced those doubters. Winning a championship in the UAAP, or in any league for that matter, is extremely difficult, and requires a multitude of factors to come into alignment, so much so that it is unfair to blame the lack of a title to any one single player. Even CJ Perez, for all his talent and physical attributes, came up empty in their two trips to the finals; and neither is that a knock on CJ; nor should it ever be.
All things being equal and without considering the circumstances surrounding each team that will be drafting in the first round, Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. is the complete package and would be the logical choice as any team’s first pick.