BY leading National University to an 84-81 overtime victory over Far Eastern University on Sunday, Bobby Ray Parks not only led the Bulldogs to a first Final Four appearance in 11 years but also put the wraps on a second successive UAAP MVP award.
According to an unofficial computation by Spin.ph, Parks garnered 77.28571 statistical points (SPs) at the end of the league's two-round eliminations to beat out University of Santo Tomas’ Karim Abdul, who had 76.21429 SPs, in a close battle for the league's highest individual honor.
The race was so close, in fact, that based on Spin.ph’s unofficial tally, which used the audited statistical summary of the elimination round as basis, Parks would have shared the award with Abdul had the Bulldogs lost the game over the Tamaraws last Sunday.
Unlike other leagues, the UAAP uses only statistics to determine the winners of individual awards.
UAAP officials would neither confirm nor deny Parks' victory as they don’t want to preempt the awarding ceremony scheduled during the Finals.
Parks finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists during the rematch against the Tamaraws last Sunday. He practically clinched the victory for NU with a three-pointer with 31.4 seconds to go in the extra period.
He ended the elimination round with an average of 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks.
Despite his Sunday performance, the 19-year-old son of many-time PBA best import Bobby Parks also credited his teammates for the victory.
“It's not just all about me, the team really helped me out,” said Parks.
Parks’ heroics clinched the No. 3 spot for the Bulldogs in the Final Four and their first appearance since 2001.
Owing to the big Sunday performance, Parks was also named the ACCEL 3XVI UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week for the third time by sports scribes covering the college league beat.
The Bulldogs will face second-seed University of Santo Tomas in the Final Four on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. UST holds a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
“The goal is to bring NU to the finals and win the championship. The pressure is not just on me, it's on everybody else in the team. But we try to disregard the pressure and stick together and keep close ties,” said Parks.