by Ernest Hernandez
After suffering their very first loss in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), a one-point loss to the Westsports Malaysia Dragons, Alab Pilipinas bounced back hard when they overpowered Hongkong Eastern, 87-75, in Caloocan City last Friday.
Leading the charge were PJ Ramos and Ray Parks Jr., who had his best scoring game for the season with 24 points along with four rebounds and four assists. It was a far better performance compared to his last game where he wound up with only 5 points and two rebounds.
“Ray was great. He was one of those guys from last game—but I think as a team we struggled. He, along with the rest of the other guys, had a bad game,” said Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag.
“With such a quick turnaround for him to come out, he was aggressive right from the start, he was great defensively against Elliot and the other import, Basset. It is such a great game,” Alapag added.
For Parks, he was just trying to bounce back from a horrible outing in Malaysia.
“That’s enough motivation to for, you know what I mean,” said Parks who also gives credit to his teammates on pushing him to shoot and finding him in his spots.
“I got to do more for the team in order for us to get more wins. My teammates did a great job in finding me to be honest. They motivated me. They pushed me to be a better player,” said Parks.
“So, coming into today’s game, they helped a lot on my confidence and they just told me to, ‘Just go out there and do you. Play the game. We know what you can do.” And you saw it yourself.”
More than the offensive outburst, Parks locked down two of the best players of Hongkong Eastern. He managed to limit Marcus Elliot and O’Darian Basset to shoot 39-percent and 32-percent respectively from the field.
“I’ve been doing that [defending the best player] since last year,” said Parks on his defensive assignments. “Coach Jimmy (Alapag) trusted me enough me to guard one of the best players on the other team. That’s happened even last year.”
Alab Pilipinas faces a tough schedule of flying to Taiwan and face the Formosa Dreamers on Sunday at 3pm.