The week started perfectly for TNT KaTropa after Ray Parks Jr. agreed to a one-year extension and landed its much-needed center in Poy Erram in a complicated three-team trade.
The KaTropa suddenly became one of the contenders for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup after keeping the sophomore Parks and luring Erram from NLEX with Blackwater as the conduit of the trade.
“We’re very happy that he (Parks) finally decided to agree. Hopefully, he can contribute just like what he did last conference. Maybe even better. Now we can move on,” said TNT KaTropa head coach Bong Ravena after the team’s practice at the Moro Lorenzo Gym yesterday.
“Coming to the 2020 Philippine Cup, we’re very excited that we’re with him again. Hopefully, we can get more wins this coming All-Filipino Cup,” he added.
The 26-year old Parks reportedly wanted a better deal from TNT KaTropa and opted to re-sign for another one year. Details of the new contract were not divulged to the media.
The son of seven-time PBA Best Import winner Bobby Ray Parks finally joined the team’s practice yesterday.
TNT KaTropa active consultant Mark Dickel and team manager Gabby Cui were relieved that the issues hounding the southpaw guard were finally over.
“That won’t be an issue, it’s just basketball. Once you get back to your rhythm and start playing, that won’t really matter.” Dickel said.
“He signed one-year max contact for a second year player. We expect Ray to be a professional. We treated the negotiations professionally. We expect him to honor his end of the bargain by coming out and playing 100 percent,” Cui said.
The second overall pick of the 2018 PBA draft had a strong rookie campaign by putting up 19.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He is one of the top contenders for the Rookie of the Year award along with top pick CJ Perez of Columbian Dyip, Robert Bolick of NorthPort and Javee Mocon of Rain or Shine.
Aside from Parks, Erram is set to join the KaTropa this coming season after the three-team deal was already agreed in principle by all the parties and is just awaiting the approval of PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.
The Road Warriors will receive Anthony Semerad and two future picks while the Elite will get Marion Magat, Ed Daquioag and a future first-round selection.
NLEX confirmed the deal in a Facebook post, thanking Erram for his contributions in the team even in a short stint.
“Our organization recognizes Poy’s contributions towards our team’s growth in 2019. Beyond basketball, Poy has also lent his time and efforts to the advocacies and community-building activities of NLEX Corporation, from representing the team at the 2019 Panagbenga Festival, to lunches with NLEX employees,” the Road Warriors management said in a post.
“We thank Poy for his hard work, sacrifice and dedication to our organization and wish him the best as he continues his career in the PBA. As an organization, we continue to look towards the future and place the NLEX Road Warriors in a position for success in the PBA.”