FORMER Shell teammate Ronnie Magsanoc on Saturday paid tribute to the greatness of Bobby Parks Sr.
Speaking to Spin.ph a few hours after the prolific import passed away on Saturday afternoon after a bout with lung cancer, Magsanoc readily ranked Parks the best among the imports he had played with.
“Bobby was the best import I ever played with,” the 14-year PBA veteran said of the seven-time best import awardee.
Along with Benjie Paras, Magsanoc and Parks formed the core of the Shell team than won its maiden league championship during the 1990 First Conference - an experience which Magsanoc considers as his most memorable with the late import.
“As a teammate, he was very unselfish,” Magsanoc said. “Bobby was always efficient, reliable, consistent, a big-time player, and a proven winner.”
"Bobby taught how to be a better scorer. Rather than just be a pure shooter from the 3-point line, he always reminded me to attack the basket to keep the defense guessing and to go use my quickness to get fouled and get to the free throw line more often."
Of course, Magsanoc was also there in 1989 when Parks averaged a mind-boggling 52.6 points per game for the Zoom Masters.
Off the court, they also had a harmonious relationship as they maintained contact even after taking their separate ways as players.
“Maski hindi na kami magkasama (sa team) kaibigan pa rin kami. He was more than a teammate to me and Benjie,” Magsanoc recalled. “Near or far, he was always a real friend to us.”
Magsanoc remembers his last long conservation with his former teammate came during a party after the christening of one of Paras’ children a few years back.
He tried to visit Parks when he learned about the latter’s health issue, but to no avail.
“Ayaw magpadalaw eh. Very private kasi family niya,” Magsanoc said. “Gusto talaga namin (dumalaw). Nag-uusap kami ni Benjie paano, pero I respected the family’s decision.”
But that doesn't bother Magsanoc at all as he remembered Parks as a gentleman on and off the court.
"Mild mannered and level headed, he was humble even with his many achievements, and always had a big smile for everyone."