Parks to join PBA af­ter ABL

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By JOAQUIN HEN­SON

PBA com­mis­sioner Wil­lie Mar­cial said yes­ter­day he will al­low rookie Bobby Ray Parks to play out his con­tract with San Miguel Alab in the ABL be­fore join­ing Black­wa­ter in the PBA, cit­ing prece­dents in­volv­ing Alvin Pat­ri­mo­nio, Don Al­lado, Scot­tie Thomp­son and Chris­tian Stand­hardinger to sup­port the de­ci­sion.

Parks, 25, was picked sec­ond over­all in the first round by Black­wa­ter in the PBA draft last De­cem­ber. Black­wa­ter PBA gov­er­nor Sil­li­man Sy con­firmed that in Parks’ draft ap­pli­ca­tion, there is a con­di­tion on the sec­ond page that he will ful­fill his ABL obli­ga­tions be­fore mov­ing to the PBA. But Sy ad­mit­ted he wasn’t aware of the con­di­tion be­fore Parks was drafted. It wouldn’t have mat­tered any­way as Black­wa­ter was de­ter­mined to en­list Parks.

Sy said he re­cently met with Parks and his agent Char­lie Dy to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion. San Miguel Corp. sports direc­tor Al­fran­cis Chua said if Parks wanted, he would be re­leased from Alab to join Black­wa­ter at his dis­cre­tion but it wasn’t likely the for­mer NU star would forego the prospect of win­ning an­other ABL cham­pi­onship. Sy left it up to Mar­cial to de­cide Parks’ case. “What­ever the Com­mis­sioner de­cides, we will abide,” said Sy. “But when we ended our meet­ing with Ray-Ray and Char­lie, we shook hands. We agreed in prin­ci­ple on the terms of our of­fer.”

Sy said there was no for­mal re­quest for Mar­cial to set­tle the is­sue. “We didn’t send a writ­ten let­ter to the Of­fice of the Com­mis­sioner but Com­mis­sioner Wil­lie phoned and we dis­cussed the mat­ter,” he said. “There was no need for a for­mal no­tice from the Com­mis­sioner. I dis­cussed with Deo (Ever Bilena CEO and Black­wa­ter team owner Dio­celdo Sy) as early as last Thurs­day morn­ing and we re­spect the Com­mis­sioner’s de­ci­sion. We all agreed that the max­i­mum is Ray-Ray will fin­ish the ABL sea­son be­fore join­ing us.”

Black­wa­ter’s of­fer for Parks is a three-year P10.4 Mil­lion deal. The pack­age is bro­ken down into a monthly salary of P200,000 in the first year, P250,000 in the sec­ond and P420,000 in the third. The max­i­mum monthly pay for a rookie was re­cently in­creased from P150,000 to P200,000. At the mo­ment, the max­i­mum monthly pay for a player at least on his third year is P420,000 although there is a move to in­crease it to P500,000.

Mar­cial said as soon as Parks fin­ishes his Alab obli­ga­tions, he can jump straight into the PBA. “If it hap­pens that Black­wa­ter is still con­tention in the Philip­pine Cup, Ray-Ray can join (as long as it’s be­fore the play­offs cut­off),” said Mar­cial. “There are prece­dents to this case, like Alvin who was al­lowed to play out his PABL con­tract, Don who fin­ished his UAAP obli­ga­tions, Scot­tie who com­pleted his NCAA sea­son and Chris­tian who ended his Hong Kong con­tract in the ABL be­fore join­ing the PBA. They were drafted even while they had ex­ist­ing obli­ga­tions in other leagues.”

In the off­sea­son, Black­wa­ter traded Poy Er­ram to NLEX and Nards Pinto to Phoenix. In re­turn, the Elite took in rook­ies Paul Deside­rio and Abu Trat­ter and veter­ans Joseph Eri­obu and Gelo Alolino. An­other new­comer is rookie guard Diego Dario who was Black­wa­ter’s third round pick in last month’s draft. A key ad­di­tion to the coach­ing staff is PBA leg­end Romel Ad­du­cul who was tapped to work with the team’s big men. For­mer PBA coach Ariel Van­guardia joined the front of­fice as al­ter­nate PBA gov­er­nor.

A pos­i­tive sign was Black­wa­ter’s 103-98 win over San Miguel Beer in a prac­tice game last Tues­day. “Nakat­samba kami,” said Elite coach Bong Ramos. “First tune-up namin and SMB wasn’t in shape yet. We just ex­e­cuted what we’d been do­ing in train­ing. The team is still on learn­ing and cor­rec­tions.”

Ramos said the UP con­nec­tion of Deside­rio and Dario is a big boost. “Medyo gal­ing sa three days off kasi nagkasakit si Paul but his con­tri­bu­tion sa tune-up enough na­man af­ter gal­ing sa sakit,” said Ramos. “Paul played good de­fense. Dario did his role and he’s OK. Paul, Dario and Abu – our three rook­ies – have still a lot of room for im­prove­ment. We like Abu’s de­fense, re­bound­ing and ex­tra ef­fort. Romel’s a big help with Abu and the other bigs and he’s work­ing with Mac (Belo), too.”

A miss­ing piece is cen­ter Rabeh Al Hus­saini. “He has a live con­tract with us un­til the end of this com­ing sea­son,” said Sy. “He wrote a let­ter ex­plain­ing he has a fam­ily prob­lem and we haven’t been able to con­tact him. We can un­der­stand if a player is un­der­go­ing a per­sonal prob­lem and we’ll al­low a leave of ab­sence but it can’t be in­def­i­nite. There has to be a line drawn be­tween a per­sonal and a pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship. It’s too bad be­cause we had big plans for Rabeh now that Poy is no longer with us.”

Sy said when Pinto left, the door opened for Alolino to come in. “We had dif­fi­culty ne­go­ti­at­ing with Nards and even his agent (Danny Espir­itu) was exasperated with him,” he said. “We’re lucky to get Eri­obu. We checked with Atoy Co, who knows him from Ma­pua days, and Atoy told us Eri­obu’s tough, he has a strong body, can de­fend and re­bound. We signed Gelo to a one-year con­tract and we think he’s a good ad­di­tion to our back­court.”

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