Pain no barrier for injured Ray Parks as Alab tries to stop the bleeding
Alab star Bobby Ray Parks says pain is not an excuse to perform below par. Jaime Campos

BOBBY Ray Parks Jr. is determined to play through injuries as Alab Pilipinas tries to boost its position in the Asean Basketball League playoffs.

Parks has been playing even after suffering a shoulder injury in the match against the Saigon Heat in January and a high ankle sprain two weeks ago against the Westports Malaysia Dragons.

But with six games to play, Alab Pilipinas can still rise or drop from No. 3.

Moving up to No. 2 will mean homecourt advantage in the best-of-three semifinals for Alab.

“Kailangan ako ng coach, management, my teammates, and my brothers. So I have to step up, and go in with me giving my all. I may not give 100 percent but whatever I got I give,” said Parks on Wednesday following Alab’s practice at the Enderun Colleges Gym.

Not only is Parks playing through pain in the crucial games, he is also participating in practices.

Alab suffered two straight defeats and hopes to bounce back.

Despite an all-around performance numbers-wise in the past few games, Parks considers himself to be in a “midseason slump.”

“For the people that know me, halata naman na injured ako kasi pilit ‘yung laro ko. I’m not as efficient as I was before. It’s just tough nursing an injury but at the same time, going through a midseason slump which is normal for players especially the guards,” Parks said.

Alab is set to have weekends that will definitely test their resolve, as they play Saigon Heat once again in a crucial match-up in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday night, before returning at home to play the Dragons again on Sunday night in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

On March 10, Alab will face first-place Hong Kong Eastern on the road before returning to Sta. Rosa to play the Long Lions again on March 12.

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Hong Kong Eastern is on top with an 11-2 win-loss record followed by the Singapore Slingers at 11-5.

Alab holds an 8-6 card, while Saigon is at 5-8 and is still in contention for the No. 3 seeding.

Kaohsiung is at fifth with 5-10, while Malaysia is at last place with 3-12, but both still has a shot at a semifinal berth.

 

Alab, however, is still within range for the number two spot and the homecourt advantage in the semifinals with the Singapore Slingers toting an 11-5 record behind Hong Kong Eastern, which has an 11-2 slate.

Parks said the days in between games will play a key factor in the coming days as it will give time for the team to rest, and for his injuries to heal.

“I just have to do more recovery and at the same time, ‘yung injury ko, kailangan 100 percent rest kasi hindi siya mag-heheal. I really hope these next few days, makahanap kami ng time na makapahinga, and get myself back to how I was in the beginning of the season na fresh ako, I’m quick on my feet, I’m more explosive, and efficient.

“I can do more things when I’m healthy,” said Parks.

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