Parks has his priorities.
It seems that Bobby Ray Parks Jr. may just not be among the names in Gilas Pilipinas’ final 12 for the FIBA World Cup. In fact, that much seemed certain right after he was not included in the team’s lineup in its tune-up game versus Montenegro, which the latter won rather handily.
In all, Parks missed Gilas’ last three tune-up games, which coach Chot Reyes had previously stated would weigh quite a lot in the coaching staff’s final decision as to which players will represent the Philippines in basketball’s biggest, most prestigious tournament.
During the national squad's open practice last Tuesday, only 13 out of the remaining 16 pool members participated in that session. Rayray is among the absentees yet again.
The 6-foot-4 Fil-Am, nonetheless, seems to be putting a positive spin on this development, as shown in one of his recent posts on Instagram.
This particular post was made on Tuesday, and it contained a picture of Parks getting cozy with his girlfriend, vlogger Zeinab Harake, and with the caption: “We appreciate the opportunity. At least we have more time before I go home, Bel. #perspective”
Home, in this case, is Japan, and Parks will soon have to fly back there after previously resigning with the Nagoya Dolphins in the Japan B.League to start training with his team—just as Filipino standouts like Carl Tamayo and Robert Bolick are already doing with the Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Fukushima Firebonds, respectively.
Parks had been one of Gilas’ most reliable—not to mention available—players in recent years, averaging 7.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in five games at the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers and 13.3 markers, 2.3 boards, and 2.3 dimes in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup.