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JAKARTA — Bobby Ray Parks Jr. doesn’t just share his father’s name. On Monday, the UAAP Season 74 Most Valuable Player will also try to retrace his legendary father’s footsteps when he debuts as part of the Sinag Pilipinas national team coached by Norman Black, which will compete in the ongoing Southeast Asian Games.

The elder Parks first played in the PBA under Black, who coached the San Miguel. Parks led the Beermen to the title in the 1987 Third Conference and won the first of his record seven Best Import awards.

“Playing for Coach Norman and the Philippine men’s basketball team is a privilege,” the younger Parks told InterAKTV in an exclusive interview.

“Like the other guys, I take pride of being a member of the national team and representing the country in the SEA Games.”

Bobby Parks would later move to Shell, where he battled Black’s San Miguel squads in numerous fierce encounters. Having been born only in 1993, Ray only has grainy video and his father’s stories to go by.

“My dad used to tell me that Coach Norman’s San Miguel had a superior team,” said Ray. “They were fierce competitors inside the court, but they’re good friends out of it.”

Black, for his part, sees many similarities between father and son.

“They’re both good players, no question about it,” he said. “And Ray Ray, who is only 18, can only get better.”

“In fact, Ray Ray just won the MVP in the UAAP.”

Sinag Pilipinas debuts against Cambodia at 11 a.m. (12 noon Manila time) on Monday, before taking on Vietnam on Tuesday at 3 p.m. (4 p.m. Manila time) and Thailand on Wednesday at 11 a.m. (12 noon Manila time). All games will be broadcast over AKTV on IBC.


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