SAMPSON Carter is thrilled to be reunited with Bobby Ray Parks with Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Carter was signed up by the Philippine-based ABL squad as one of the replacements for Korean-American imports Lee Seung Jun and Lee Dong Jun just in time for the Philippine side's 2017 debut against the Kaohsiung Truth this weekend.
Unknown to many, Carter played with Parks a decade earlier when they were in Memphis. Most recently, the two were also together in the training camp of the Westchester Knicks in the NBA D-League.
“Bobby is like a brother to me,” said the 26-year-old Carter. “When he visited Memphis, I was there and we were in the same team about over 10 years ago so I’m excited.”
Listed at 6-foot-8, Carter suited up for University of Massachusetts before playing in different countries, the last time in Mexico.
He'll be playing in Asia for the first time.
Carter said he is happy with how Parks has developed over the years after training in the United States following his collegiate career with National University in the UAAP.
“Bobby has really developed as a player and as a person. When I saw him, he was smaller, he wasn’t as strong but he has always been a great player. He was always a smart player. I’m proud of how he has developed and how he took over his country. That’s probably the biggest thing. He is a very good person,” said Carter.
Alab Pilipinas coach Mac Cuan noted the importance of having that chemistry this early between Carter and Parks. Carter will be joined at Alab Pilipinas by another import in James Hughes.
“Malaking bagay kasi ang familiarity. Less adjustment. Pero hindi rin ako worried sa adjustment kasi I really kept it simple. Hindi rin ako nagturo masyado ng plays sa kanila para hindi sila ma-overload sa information,” said Cuan.
Carter said he is ready to take on a new challenge in the ABL and play for 40 minutes as most imports do.
“That’s the biggest challenge but I’m getting ready. We are practicing in a really hot gym. It’s like a sauna in here. The game should be easy. I look forward to getting there and making a huge impact,” said Carter, who played for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2015 NBA preseason.