Blackwater, No. 12 at 2-9 in the recent Philippine Cup, and Meralco, just a rung higher with its 3-8 card, clash in the 4:30 p.m. opener. The Elite of interim coach Aries Dimaunahan will parade rookie Rayray Parks against the Bolts, coached by the Fil-Am’s godfather, Norman Black.
Parks marks PBA debut for Elite
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Games today (MOA Arena)

4:30 p.m. – Blackwater vs Meralco 

6:45 p.m. – Alaska vs Columbian

MANILA, Philippines — Four squads that landed in the bottom five of the previous conference launch their bids for redemption as they blast off hostilities in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup today at the MOA Arena.

Blackwater, No. 12 at 2-9 in the recent Philippine Cup, and Meralco, just a rung higher with its 3-8 card, clash in the 4:30 p.m. opener. The Elite of interim coach Aries Dimaunahan will parade rookie Rayray Parks against the Bolts, coached by the Fil-Am’s godfather, Norman Black.

Alaska, which reached the quarterfinals of the all-Filipino as the eighth seed, mixes it up in the 6:45 p.m. main game with the Columbian Dyip, who aim to reach the playoffs after falling just a win shy of advancing last conference.

The Blackwater-Meralco tiff features two sides that welcomed new additions to their rosters.

The Elite finally got on board Parks, their first-round pick who missed the first conference due to his commitment with Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League (ABL). 

For their part, the Bolts acquired Raymond Almazan in a recent trade with Rain or Shine although the 6-foot-8 slotman is doubtful to see action immediately considering his weeks of inactivity due to calf injury.

“Since I was a kid watching my dad play in the PBA and winning championships, it  has always been my dream to one day play on the same level as him and help my team win also,” said Parks, whose father, the late Bobby Sr. owned an unprecedented seven Best Import awards.

“I’ll just try my best to help my team win,” he said.

Alex Stepheson, who had his first PBA tour of duty with Meralco in 2017, reinforces the Elite this time with Nigerian American Gani Lawal debuting as the Bolts’ import.

“Our first goal is to make the playoffs and hopefully go to the semifinals and give ourselves a chance to make it hopefully to the finals,” said Black who described Lawal as a good fit for Meralco with his athleticism, rebounding and blocking skills.

Black, meanwhile, welcomed his godson to the PBA.

“He’s been a star everywhere he’s gone so I don’t see why the PBA would be any exception,” said Black of Parks Jr., winner of two UAAP MVP awards before nailing three individual accolades in the ABL.

RAYRAY PARKS
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