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    Parks insists declining Gilas invitation not an issue of 'different priorities'

    Jun 21, 2019
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    RAY Parks cleared the air on his apparent non-commitment to Gilas Pilipinas Men's national team.

    In a tweet thread early Friday morning, the second overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft clarified that he respects the efforts of all the players who helped the Philippines get to the 2019 Fiba World Cup and that's the reason why he begged off.

    "I didn't decline due to different priorities smh. Hiya oo, pero priority hindi," he said.

    "Nahihiya din ako sa mga players na naglaro during the qualifiers and nagpakahirap to get our spot at the World Cup. Sino ba namang proud na Pinoy na hindi mahihiya kasi each player who played are deserving of a spot. Rinerespeto ko sila at yung pinaghirapan nila."

    Gilas Men's head coach Yeng Guiao bared on Thursday that Parks was extended an invitation to be part of the pool, but declined the offer.

    "My understanding is he declined to be part of the pool. I asked (team liaison officer) Yvette Ruiz to get in touch with him, so my understanding is may iba siyang priorities," the fiery mentor said of the situation.

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      Parks also said that his focus right now is on Blackwater as he wants to repay all the sacrifices the team made in only his rookie year in the PBA.

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      "First conference ko pa lang sa PBA at pinayagan na ako ng Blackwater tapusin ang ABL stint ko kaya sobrang thankful ako. Tapos ngayon na wala kaming import, tapos mawawala ako? Nahihiya lang din ako sa Blackwater," he said.

      The two-time UAAP MVP spent the early parts of the year with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the 2019 ASEAN Basketball League before finally joining the Elite this 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup, leading the squad to a 4-2 record in the midseason conference.

      Parks reiterated that he'll always be proud to represent the country and it's preposterous for people to think that he couldn't care less for flag and country.

      "For people to actually believe that I don't want to represent my country is crazy," he said. "Kaya nga ako naglaro sa Alab and went abroad carrying the Philippine flag anywhere and everywhere I go."

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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