REIGNING MVP Bobby Ray Parks likes the chances of Alab Pilipinas this season in the Asean Basketball League, especially with the entry of head coach Jimmy Alapag, the addition of veteran players, and the experience the team gained from last year.
Parks said he is aiming to be a better player to help Alab improve on a semifinal exit last season.
“Just to be better than I did last year,” said Parks. “I felt like I didn’t exceed my own expectations so I need to have a better year this year and hopefully win a championship.”
Parks said Alapag has played a big role in building a competitive team for this season following the recruitment of PBA veterans Dondon Hontiveros, Rico Maierhofer, and Josh Urbiztondo.
“Coach Jimmy is emphasizing us staying together as a family. I’m definitely excited for this season. We have great character on and off the court,” said Parks.
They say experience is the best teacher, and Parks is definitely a believer in that mantra heading into the new ABL season.
“We learned from last year. We are more experienced than last year. First year was a rookie year for the Alab group, the coaching staff all the way to the ballboy and the whole organization. It was a trying year. This year, we are more prepared and definitely ready,” said Parks.
Parks said he is also improving his conditioning with the help of renowned trainer Chappy Callanta, especially with the ABL season running for a six-month period.
“Actually, throughout the season, I was dealing with a lot of injuries and it just built up. Coach Chappy is doing a great job right now of letting us peak at the right moment and doing a lot of strength and conditioning and not putting too much load on us because he knows the season will be heavy,” said Parks.
“Last year was an adjustment period. Now, we know what to expect. Now our bodies can adjust, and everybody is learning,” he added.
Parks also said he is learning a lot from Alapag so far in their preparation for this coming season.
“Growing up, talagang idol ko na talaga si coach Jimmy and now, being able to play under him, see him everyday, pick his brains, and learn the ins and outs of the game, how he thinks, it’s an added bonus,” said Parks.
When asked what he has learned so far, Parks said: “It’s more of thinking about other’s role, learning each other’s strengths, so we can utilize our best. I took that from the Gilas stint where he wanted me to play defense.
“But now, he wants me to play defense and at the same time, be aggressive on offense. I can’t wait to let me be free again and let loose,” he said.