RAY Parks is no longer a go-to guy for Tanduay Alab Pilipinas offense. He isn't even getting a lot of touches on offense.
He also doesn't mind.
Unlike last season when he was the focal point of the Alab offense and scored a league-high 41 points in one game, an unselfish Parks has taken a step back upon the arrival of high-scoring imports Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman.
“Playing with some of the best imports in the world to be honest, Balkman and Brownlee, they are gentlemen. They are professionals. They know the game and they know how to pick up the team," said the ABL's former MVP.
"They are the pedestal of the team. It’s great for me to take a step back and be just be here to support as a local," he added. “It feels great right now to know that we are just backing them up.”
With the two high-scoring imports on board, Parks said he is making a conscious effort to focus on other things other than scoring. That explains his averages of 12.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists prior to a loss to Singapore on Wednesday.
The son of PBA legend Bobby Parks said he has nothing to prove scoring-wise in the ABL.
“I've already proven in the ABL what I can do individually. It’s more about doing what’s best for the team. It’s about sacrifice and being unselfish,” said Parks.
He has been hit with criticism over the dip in his scoring, but Parks said some fans simply don't understand his shift in priorities.
“It’s just one of those seasons where in the past five games, I didn’t put up numbers but I was still having double-double games, and all that," said the Alab guard.
“But people who don’t know basketball don’t see that, you are not really a fan of the game, you don’t really respect the game, you don’t have knowledge of the game. What’s the point of pleasing you? Now everybody has a voice. I’m just glad that I helped the team and the coaches trust me,” Parks said.
But it's not always the same mentality for Parks, who said he was more aggressive offensively on Wednesday in a loss to the Slingers with both Balkman and Brownlee misfiring.
“It’s about what the team needs. The imports had their hands full. I looked to score more and I’m glad that they trust me and the shots were going in. My teammates did a great job pushing me and telling me to keep shooting,” said Parks.