MANILA, Philippines – Despite not being included in the initial 16-man roster, former two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Ray Parks is set to join Gilas Pilipinas when it competes in the William Jones Cup in Taiwan starting on Saturday.
Parks was introduced as a member of the national team roster for the Jones Cup during Gilas Pilipinas’ send-off on Wednesday at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, and he later confirmed that he will go with the team to Taiwan on Friday.
“He (Coach Chot Reyes) just wants to bring me along and see how everything goes,” Parks said. “I’ve been showing up in practice, so he just wants to keep this core group together.”
“I have to wait for comment if I’ll be in the exact line-up in the Jones Cup, but for sure, I’m going on the trip,” he said.
Parks brings the Philippines’ Jones Cup roster to 17 players, as he joins Jio Jalalon, Mike Tolomia, Kiefer Ravena, Almond Vosotros, Matthew Wright, Ed Daquioag, Von Pessumal, Roger Pogoy, Kobe Paras, Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Raymar Jose, Alfonso Gotladera, Christian Standhardinger, and import Mike Myers.
According to Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio, of the 17 players in the roster, only 12 can be activated for a particular game.
“That’s our arrangement with the Jones Cup, ever since this program started. We bring in more than 12, pero in the end… each day magde-declare kami kung sino,” he explained.
Of Parks’ inclusion in the roster, Antonio said that the former National University star has “been putting in a lot of work.”
“He’s doing well in practice,” Antonio said of Parks, who was initially not included in the Gilas Pilipinas pool but was added back in after an honest conversation with Reyes.
Aside from competing in the Jones Cup, Parks was also included in the roster for the Southeast Asian Games, the third time that he will represent the country in the biennial tournament.
“It’s a blessing and a privilege to represent the country,” Parks said Wednesday. “It feels good to bring back unity and peace, and that joy of playing basketball. Hopefully, it brings back the unity of cheering for one country, for one goal.”
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