IMUS — After controversial words that got him into trouble with the league during opening day, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. had little to say about his record-setting performance in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
The two-time Asean Basketball League MVP had 13 points and league-record 15 assists in Mandaluyong’s 71-61 win over Zamboanga on Saturday night at the Imus Sports Complex.
Parks broke the league record for most assists in a game at 14, set by Paolo Hubalde of the Valenzuela Classic, but had little to say after Mandaluyong's maiden win of the season.
“It was a collective effort,” said the usually outspoken Parks, while being mobbed by fans here at the court.
When asked about the win, Parks answered: “The team did a good job.”
Was it in the game plan for him to focus on making assists?
“The team played a good effort,” Parks said.
Parks showed his displeasure towards the officiating in his first game with Mandaluyong when he was hobbled with foul trouble. He did finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Muntinlupa last June 12.
“They don’t want me in this league,” Parks said then.
The league later issued a warning to Parks, saying a repeat of the controversy will lead to sanctions.
Even before he made his debut in the league, Parks had expressed his displeasure over the MPBL rule that allows only one Fil-foreigner to play in the league and the player should only be below 6 feet 4 inches.
While Parks uttered only a few words in the postgame interview, Mandaluyong coach Mac Cuan had much to say about his prized ward prior to the game, challenging Parks to play his game and play beyond the controversy.
“I challenged Ray especially after those issues that came out,” Cuan said. “I challenged him, ‘Ray, you have been doing so well. You won back-to-back MVPs in the ABL. Don’t ruin your name by saying stuff like that. You don’t need that right now’.”
Cuan also encouraged him to silence the critics.
“The only time you are going to quiet those critics is to play your game and play your heart out. You are in this league, you respect this league, and he belongs here. He does belong here,” Cuan said.