THE inevitable comparison between Bobby Ray Parks and his late father, legendary PBA import Bobby Parks, couldn’t be avoided.
Shortly after being named Most Valuable Player of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc can’t help but equate the young Parks with the seven-time Best Import awardee with whom he won a championship in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league as teammates with Formula Shell together with his current deputy and close pal Benjie Paras.
“Minsan parang kinikilabutan ka,” said Magsanoc whenever he watches the combo guard out of National University play, obviously seeing in him his former teammate.
“At maiisip mo talagang Jurassic era ka na dahil anak na ng teammate mo eh,” Magsanoc said with a laugh.
Magsanoc said he’s happy to see Rayray running away with the MVP trophy in the same he’s delighted whenever Bobby would be named Best Import during his stint with the Turbochargers.
“I’m happy for Rayray. Nakasama ko ‘yung father niya for so many years. Anytime a teammate wins an award, you are happy for him. Hindi ko alam kung full circle ang tawag dito o full circle circle dahil ‘yung anak na ng magaling na import na nakasama namin ni Benjie,” said the former PBA great.
But Magsanoc said Rayray is definitely a man of his own.
“Matigas ang katawan nila pareho. Iba ‘yung laro pero pareho ‘yung genes. Iba ‘yung lakas, iba ‘yung athleticism,” he noted.
The Hapee coach also added the young Parks is head and shoulders above any other Filipino players today.
“Hindi mo maikukumpara (si Rayray) sa full-blooded na Pinoy,” said Magsanoc.
National University coach Eric Altamirano, who also had the opportunity to play alongside Bobby and handle Rayray at the same time, said his former player is definitely a better version of his father.
“In terms of skill and athleticism, mas magaling talaga si Bobby Ray,” said Altamirano.
“Si Bobby, kahit tinitira siya, he remains focused and composed in his game. I’m sure Rayray is working on that aspect of his game.”
Whatever flaws the younger Parks still has in his game, Magsanoc is confident the two-time UAAP MVP will be a much better player once he turns pro.
“He really works hard. Napakabait na bata. It’s a matter of time that he makes his mark in the pros,” said Magsanoc.
“It’s really a blessing and a privilege to mentor Rayray and the Fresh Fighters. Natutuwa ako para kay Rayray. He deserves it. Moala Tautuaa also deserves it. And I’m hopeful that Rayray will bring this team to the top,” said Magsanoc.