AFTER making a conscious effort to involve his teammates on offense early in Season 76 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament, two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks has reverted to his role as National University’s top gun as the Bulldogs gear up for the Final Four.
Parks' offensive brilliance was once again in full display on Wednesday afternoon when he torched hapless University of the Philippines for 30 points in a 79-62 rout of the Maroons that stands out as his best offensive game of the season so far.
The win kept the Bulldogs firmly on top of the standings with a 9-3 (win-loss) record, and coupled by La Salle’s 75-65 overtime win over University of the East, clinched for the team a seat into the Final Four.
The output also was a season-high for the reigning league MVP, who punctuated the performance by shooting 12-of-20 from the field.
Parks has been concentrating on playing team-ball for the most part of the season in his bid to prove that NU is not a one-man show. But with the season now entering the homestretch, Parks is sharpening his guns as he prepares to take over games when he has to.
“Coach (Eric Altamirano) has been getting on me on my shooting so it will help down the stretch,” said the son of the late great PBA import Bobby Parks. “Towards the end of the second round, I’ve been putting more work on my shooting.”
And after trying to be a facilitator during the eliminations, Parks acknowledged his teammates are now returning the favor by getting him ready for the Final Four.
“Coach has been helping me a lot and especially my teammates, they have been giving me the ball, giving me the confidence to shoot. I’ve been working on it. It just so happened that I made my shots,” said Parks.
Following the win against UP, the Bulldogs are now looking ahead to their final two matches against possible Final Four opponents in La Salle on September 8 and Ateneo on September 11.
“They are two great teams. We will treat them like this game by playing hard,” Parks said.