Parks signs up for Hapee in D-League

Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Former National U and NLEX star Bobby Ray Parks is returning to Philippine basketball, bannering the Hapee Toothpaste team that takes over the NLEX franchise in the PBA D-League.

Parks has signed up a two-conference contract with the Lamoiyan Corporation squad in an effort to stay fit while waiting for the next NBA off-season where he plans to make a second and last try at making the NBA.

“It’s his dream and a promise to his dad (the late PBA Hall-of-Fame import Bobby Parks),” said Charlie Dy, the agent of the Fil-Am forward.

“He failed to make it the first time though he’s able to work out with the LA Lakers. We’re talking to a different management group now who’ll explore the best route for Bobby Ray to have the best chance of making it,” Dy also said.

Then there’s the PBA if Parks fails to realize his NBA dream.

Meanwhile, Parks leads the Hapee Toothpaste cast that also includes Ateneo’s Chris Newsome, La Salle’s Arnold Van Opstal, Perpetual Help’s Scottie Thompson, UE’s Chris Javier, and San Beda’s Baser Amer, Ola Adeogun, Art dela Cruz, Ryussei Koga, JP Mendoza and Michole Sorela, and NLEX holdovers Garvo Lanete and Kirk Long.

“Nakakuha kami hulog mula sa langit kagabi (We’ve got one from heaven just Wednesday night),” said coach Ronnie Magsanoc, referring to Newsome, No. 2 pick by Tanduay in the recent draft.

Hapee Toothpaste got a hand at Newsome after Tanduay’s signing rights on the player lapsed Monday. Tanduay failed to tender an offer to Newsome inside the five-day period after the draft day.

With a formidable cast, Hapee Toothpaste, a multi-titled team in the defunct PBL, could well return to basketball scene with a bang.

Helping Magsanoc hold the rein at the Cecilio Pedro-owned team are assistant coaches Benjie Paras and Xavier Nunag, and team manager Bernard Yang.

“We’re instilling to the team what Lamoiyan Corp. stands for – right values how to play and how to live. We’ll fight to the last second and we’ll be the hardest working team. Hopefully, the wins follow,” said Magsanoc, a one-time champion coach in the NCAA with his alma mater San Beda.

Pedro, meanwhile, said they’re returning to basketball in an effort to help the country develop future players for the national team.

“Sports is also a manhood of the country. You win in the international stage, and the people become proud of the country,” said Pedro.

“Involving the youth in this kind of sport will not only teach them skills, but will also help them develop good values and attitude,” Pedro also said.

Among PBA players helped by Hapee to become better players are LA Tenorio, Larry Fonacier, Rich Alvarez, PJ Simon, Gabe Norwood, Jervy Cruz, Gabby Espinas and many others.

PBA Best Import awardees Parks and Tony Harris had also played for the franchise.

Pedro has said earlier their using the D-League as their jump-off point to the PBA. “From the D-League, we have no other way to go but the PBA. We’re ready anytime,” he said.


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