ANTIPOLO -Will Bobby Ray Parks re-sign with TNT?
That's the burning question the KaTropa management will have to answer heading into the holiday break after their season came to a screeching halt after an an 89-78 Game Five defeat to Meralco in the PBA Governors' Cup semis on Monday.
Parks signed only a one-season contract that is set to expire this year, after he was taken second overall by Blackwater in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.
The 26-year-old guard hopes that things will eventually fall into place as he enters into negotiations with TNT.
"Wala pa namang sinabi. For the most part, we wanted to win this and try to make it to the finals. Pero wala pa naman na-mention," he said.
Head coach Bong Ravena also offered nothing concrete about Parks' contract situation, saying that the KaTropa top brass still have to sit down and make a deep re-assessment of the season that just ended.
"Depende, baka magbago pa. Baka magbago rin ang isip niya, magbago ang isip namin. Tignan namin, i-assess namin lahat. We have to sit down and think kung ano pa ang kailangan ng team," he said.
Parks, though, is keeping his fingers crossed.
"Hopefully naman, God-willing. Blessing naman to be in TNT and to play in the PBA," he said.
The 6-foot-4 scorer has played for two teams in the two conferences he's been in the pro league after missing the Philippine Cup due to his ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) responsibilities with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
"Definitely a different chapter, a chapter of growth," he remarked.
He made an immediate impact for Blackwater in the Commissioner's Cup, driving the Elite to the No. 3 seed only to see the Elite bow to Rain or Shine in the quarters.
With Blackwater struggling in the third conference, the second-generation star soon found himself shipped to the KaTropa in November, immediately earning minutes as he raced against time to jell with his new squad.
"It was a midseason adjustment," Parks said after averaging 12.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.1 steals. "Like I said from the beginning, I just tried to get integrated more to the system, figure out roles."
Ironically, TNT's season ended at the hands of Meralco, the team Parks was rumored to be joining after the draft. The Bolts are also coached by Norman Black, Parks' baptismal godfather.
Sad as Parks was to see his rookie season come to an abrupt end, he still considers his rookie year a success after reaching the semis with the KaTropa.
"Personally, it's still a good way to end the year," he said. "Playing in the semis in the PBA is tough against a great and well-coached team. They knocked down shots and we'll just learn and get better from that."