BOBBY Ray Parks is not looking at a third straight Most Valuable Player award as the National University Bulldogs have been on a roll in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“Individual awards will come. But my focus is the team,” Parks said. “God bless me with it but my goal right now is make my teammates better.”
Parks said he is trying his best to be more of a “facilitator” for the team as the Bulldogs try to win the UAAP crown this season behind a collective effort.
And such was the case in the Bulldogs’ 75-61 win over University of Santo Tomas on Saturday where the back-to-back MVP didn’t score a point in the fourth period and yet NU still won behind the clutch three-pointers of Robin Rono.
“It was more of me being a facilitator,” said Parks. “I have been reviewing the film and I saw that every time I go to the paint, they (defense) will just clog it.”
“I won’t be dumb to force shots. Whoever is open, I just try to get it, give it to my teammates,” Parks said.
In the two straight times he won the MVP trophy, Parks has been scoring 20 points or more on many occasions. This time, however, he admits he doesn’t need to carry his teammates.
Against UST, Parks only had 10 points including an emphatic dunk over UST’s Kim Lo that pumped up the Bulldogs’ gallery.
But he punctuated the effort with an all-around game of eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
“We are just playing beautiful basketball. I don’t have to score 20 or 30 a night. I can just get 10 or 15 in, dish some assists, grab some boards. I don’t have too much pressure on my back anymore in carrying this team,” Parks said.
The son of the late great PBA import Bobby Parks hurt his left shooting hand against the Tigers, but assured that he will continue to play through pain.
“Natukod ko, sumobra ‘yung wrist ko so nag-bend back siya. I’ll get an X-ray. But definitely, I will play. I told my coaches, you have to take my arm and leg for me not to play,” Parks said.
“If I’m not 100 percent, as long as my teammates need me and I do my role as a leader like today, I can still make an impact in the game,” said Parks.