HE has proven that he’s the best player in the UAAP for two straight years, but the work doesn’t stop for Bobby Ray Parks.
The back-to-back league MVP from National University said he will continue to find ways to improve in preparation for another title hunt next season, beginning with a stint in the John Lucas Basketball Camp in Houston.
A major motivation for Parks in a quest for a first UAAP championship. The Bulldogs have made great strides in Parks' first two years with the team, putting together a winning season in his rookie year and reaching the Final Four for the first time in 11 years this season.
A championship, however, remains elusive.
“Right now, I’m going to relax my body, relax and settle down. But I’m still hungry for a title. We made it to the Final Four, let’s see where we go, you’ll never know,” said Parks.
Parks edged out University of Santo Tomas’ Karim Abdul in a closely-fought MVP race, with the Bulldogs’ win over Far Eastern University on September 23 serving as the clincher.
The MVP trophy came despite Parks making a conscious effort this season to become a better team player. It was no surprise that he shared the award with his teammates later.
“I’m very honored not just for me but for my teammates,” said the son of seven-time PBA best import awardee Bobby. “I won’t win without them, they were huge.”
NU coach Eric Altamirano said: “Knowing him, he will point it to his teammates. The good thing about Ray is he is humble, low key and uncomfortable with the limelight.”
Altamirano is the first to attest that Parks has improved every facet of his game from last season as he finished with averages of 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks during the eliminations.
“He found ways to improve. He is not only a scorer but he is a good passer. He does a lot of things for us: he rebounds, defends and provides the other intangibles like his leadership,” Altamirano said.
“I’m happy for him. He deserves it. There is no one else I know that really works as hard.”