Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. made sure to arrive an hour early for his first practice with the Blackwater Elite, Monday morning at the Reyes Gym in Mandaluyong City.
This work ethic has stuck with him after playing under Jimmy Alapag in Alab Pilipinas for the last three years.
“That’s what I’ve been doing for Alab. I always believe in putting the work.
“That’s one thing coach Jimmy really taught me. Just be yourself, he said, so this is me being myself,” said the two-time ABL Local MVP, who steered Alab to a championship.
“I’m here to work. Everybody sees me work out, I don’t need to post anything. Just know that when the lights are on, I’ll be ready to play,” he continued.
The 26-year-old – the second overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft – felt like an old dog with Blackwater.
Some of his teammates in the Elite are some of his underclassmen in the UAAP like Abu Tratter of La Salle; Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario of UP; Mac Belo and Raymar Jose of FEU; and former NU teammate Gelo Alolino.
“I feel old.
“I feel like I’ve been through a lot. I’ve seen a lot through the years since I’ve graduated college, and just to be back, I feel like I’m old, like I’ve experienced so many things,” shared Parks, who tried his luck in the G-League in 2015 before staying in the ABL from 2016-19.
Though seen as a rookie-veteran, the second generation guard shares that he won’t be the savior of the franchise. But he will make sure that they will swing for the fences game in and game out.
“At the end of the day, regardless of what season it is, it’s the goal of every team here – to win championships. Nothing less than that,” he said.
“I’m still as hungry as I was in Alab and it’s the same thing. We’re just here to win a championship and put ourselves in a position to do that.”