THE San Miguel Beermen paid tribute to former coach Bobby Parks shrotly after winning their first-ever Asean Basketball League crown in Jakarta on Wednesday night.
Parks, the legendary seven-time best import in the PBA, served as the first coach of the Beermen during their inaugural stint in the league last year, when they lost to the Indonesia Warriors in the best-of-three Finals that went the full distance.
The former University of Memphis star, however, never got to coach San Miguel for another season after his cancer recurred. He eventually passed away last March.
In a television interview after the Beermen’s title-clinching 70-55 victory over the Warriors in Game Three, Leo Austria, who took over the coaching duties prior to the 2013 season, thanked Parks for the opportunity.
“I would like to thank so many people especially coach Bobby Parks. I’m not supposed to be the coach of this team. I’m just an assistant. But unfortunately, he passed away,” said Austria, who served as Parks' deputy last year.
Shortly after Parks passed away, the Beermen wore a patch on their jerseys that had Parks’ famed No. 22 jersey to pay tribute to their late coach.
They also wore black T-shirts that had the words, “Lets go Beerman,” the final tweet of Parks on his Twitter account @begud22 before he passed away.
Finals MVP Chris Banchero said the team wanted to win the championship this year because of Parks.
“We just want to do this for coach Bobby,” said Banchero. “This whole season was dedicated to coach Bobby.”
“He is an amazing person. He was with us last year. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get it. So we want to win this year for him,” he added.