TWO amateur players readily caught the attention of Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin when he dropped by to watch a PBA D-League game.
Baldwin singled out Bobby Ray Parks and big man Moala Tautuaa as potential talent who stands as the future of Philippine basketball.
The American-New Zealander saw both Parks and Tautuaa up close during the showdown between unbeaten teams Cagayan Valley and Hapee Toothpaste last January 22 which the Rising Suns won.
“I think RayRay Parks is a special player. I think (Moala) Tautuaa is a kid that has a big future. He has a big upside,” said Baldwin.
Both players stand as potential top picks in this year’s PBA Draft should they decide to turn pro.
A two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player with National University, Parks is currently playing for the Fresh Fighters and is still torn between joining the PBA draft or pursuing his dream of playing in the NBA.
He is the son of late legendary PBA import Bobby Parks.
Tautuaa for his part, appeared bent on turning pro this year following his decision to suit in the D-League this season, which is part of the requirements for Fil-foreign players intending to join the PBA draft.
Parks and Tautuaa are both potential candidates as members of the national team bound for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship and the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Both team, incidentally, will also be handled by Baldwin, apart from Gilas Pilipinas which sees action in this year’s Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship in China, which serves as the qualifier for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Other than Parks and Tautuaa, Baldwin noted there are still a lot of players who has a bright potential in the future which he saw during the Cagayan Valley-Hapee Toothpaste tiff.
“There are some other players but I can’t list all of their names. But there was good talent in that game,” Baldwin said. “The PBA will certainly continue to benefit from the D-League with its competitiveness, toughness, and the level of talent.”