FIERCE foes in the recent UAAP Final Four, Kevin Ferrer and Bobby Ray Parks now find themselves on the same side after the two college stars were named to the Philippine basketball team bound for the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Ferrer was quick to welcome the opportunity of playing alongside the two-time UAAP MVP, reiterating there was nothing personal with their physical encounters that saw No. 4 seed team University of Santo Tomas negate the twice-to-beat edge of top seed National University to advance to the Finals.
“Sa akin naman, hindi naman ako namemersonal. Kapag teammates, teammates. Kapag kalaban, kalaban,” Ferrer said to Spin.ph after the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup game on Thursday between his team Blackwater and Wang’s Basketball.
During the Final Four, the action got so heated Parks accused Ferrer of playing ‘dirty’ on defense during the series opener between the Bulldogs and the Tigers.
[For full story, see Parks vents frustration, claims Ferrer defense way too physical]
But Ferrer was quick to play down the incident, saying he’s putting behind him whatever happened in the semifinals since the two of them will now be representing the country and fighting for a common cause.
“Pride na ng bansa kasi ang pinag-uusapan dito,” said the UST stalwart.
Ferrer also said he is willing to play any role in the team, even if it meant being back-up to Parks during the biennial meet.
“Ako naman ‘yung parang back-up. Basta kung sino man, basta nakasuporta ako sa kanya,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer admitted being surprised when he first learned on Thursday he was selected as part of the team’s 12-man lineup to be handled by coach Jong Uichico.
“RP na naman, tapos i-re-represent ko na naman ang bansa,” said Ferrer, who had been part of the Philippine youth and national 3-on-3 teams in the past.
Aside from playing with fellow college players, Ferrer is also excited to suit up alongside Gilas cadet players Kevin Alas, Garvo Lanete, Jake Pascual, and Ronald Pascual, as well as naturalized player Marcus Douthit.
“Mga idol ko ‘yung mga ‘yun. Parang sobrang saya na akala mo nananaginip ka,” said Ferrer.
The country has long been a basketball power in the SEA Games since it began competing in the meet in 1977, although the UST star vowed not to take any teams lightly.
“Sa SEA Games naman, kailangan pukpok pa rin kahit sino ang kalaban. Dapat hindi kami makuntento o mag-kumpiyansa. Gagawin namin ang lahat,” said Ferrer.