Instead of the bandanna he has been sporting all season long, Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. had a different accessory on Friday evening.
And it was a necessary one.
Last Sunday, during San Miguel Alab Pilipinas’ 72-73 loss against the Formosa Dreamers in Taiwan, the two-time Local Most Valuable Player had been hit with an elbow from Malcolm Miller, midway through the third canto.
Parks, who did not return to the game because of the cut he sustained just above the bridge of his nose, needed stitches – six inches worth, to be exact.
In order for him to be cleared to play, he needed to wear a protective mask to prevent further damage. Safe to say, the second overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft was not comfortable.
“Mahirap siya. Nakakailang pero siyempre kailangan talaga ng protection eh. They gave me two days to get used to it,” shared Parks.
“It’s a great job by Contour. As soon as I got here, we went straight to the clinic and na-mold agad,” he added.
Though uncomfortable, the 6-foot-4 combo guard was still laser-focused all game long. He finished with 13 points and 10 assists with no turnovers, during Alab’s 106-99 victory over the Macau Black Bears.
His inspired play stemmed from him wanting to step up for his brothers in Alab, as he was not there during crunch time in Taiwan.
“Especially coming from yung last game namin sa Formosa. The guys battled talaga, watching the guys kahit nasa emergency room ako getting operated on,” gushed the four-year pro.
“It was just a building block talaga, not having PJ [Ramos] then I got hit so I couldn’t play. Just having one import, straight locals, and battling the way they did, they did a great job,” he added.
“They brought it today. Tulad ng sinabi ko from our first game, we’re still building and still growing as a team ’cause we’re really much younger than before.”
But if he will still be sporting the mask for the long haul, Parks will make sure that he won’t have the bandanna to go along with it.
“Kung sinuot ko yung bandanna kasama nito, mukha na akong Zorro eh.”