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    Blessing in disguise for Parks as Alab star rejuvenated after injury layoff

    Feb 19, 2019
    PHOTO: marlo cueto

    COULD Bobby Ray Parks' groin injury midway through the 2019 ASEAN Basketball League have done him more good rather than harm?

    The reigning two-time ABL Local MVP sure thinks so.

    "I’ve been playing for three years straight, so I guess that injury was a blessing in disguise that I was able to rest and recuperate," he said.

    Parks was sidelined for two weeks in late January and somehow, found the next gear in his game to help San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in its back-to-back title bid.

    Averaging 12.6 points on a 42-percent shooting in the first 10 games of the season, the two-time UAAP MVP has upped his numbers to 21.4 points on a scintillating 64-percent shooting in the last five games as the Philippine side have stayed on top of the standings.

    Parks also believes that what boosts his confidence has been the team's collective growth through the year, with players now embracing more the roles coach Jimmy Alapag have given to them, all for the benefit of Alab.

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    "It’s just adjustment. My teammates do a great job in helping me out and finding me. And coach is pushing me to be more aggressive. It’s a blessing right now to be in this position," he said.

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    As much as everything has gone smooth sailing for Alab 18 games in, Parks refuses to be content as he looks for a better performance for the team in the homestretch of the eliminations heading into the playoffs, starting on Saturday against Mono Vampire in Thailand.

    "We have to play a good 40 minutes of basketball, to be honest. We need to do a better job of having the lead and continue stepping on the gas. It’s just signs of us being young, so we need to continue to grow in that aspect," he said.

    And if Alab does do that, well, that's just the birthday gift Parks wants the most for his 26th birthday this Feb. 19.

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    PHOTO: marlo cueto
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