Ray Parks vowed that his fire, intensity and killer instinct would remain intact after reaching a fresh deal with TNT KaTropa in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The 27-year-old playmaker said he is serious in leading the KaTropa back to the PBA throne shortly after signing a one-year contract extension that will give him a maximum salary of P250,000 per month.
Parks’ signing with the Katropa was bittersweet.
After being taken as the second overall pick in the 2018 PBA Draft, Parks powered Blackwater in the Commissioner’s Cup before being shipped to TNT KaTropa for Don Trollano, Anthony Semerad and a 2021 first-round pick.
But he fell short of his goal as the KaTropa lost to Meralco in a hard-fought best-of-five semifinal series of the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
He refused to sign an extension and demanded a salary that reportedly soared to as high as P900,000 monthly.
In the end, however, sanity prevailed with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial stepping in to explain the repercussions and penalties that TNT KaTropa would absorb should he pushes through with his demand.
Now, Parks wants to repay the KaTropa’s trust with an impressive performance.
“My plan is the same as the first time I came here: Bring championship to the MVP (Manny Pangilinan) Group and TNT KaTropa,” Parks said, adding that he is relieved now that his contract negotiation is finally over.
“I’m happy because I can now focus on basketball and to be there for my team.”
Parks said the first few weeks of the deadlock was tough because he really wanted to play for Gilas Pilipinas pool, which is preparing for the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifier.
“It was definitely difficult because I would love to represent the country. But at the same time, I also wanted to protect myself and my family,” he said.
“Basketball isn’t forever. Anything can happen, your career can end with a single injury and I’m just glad that everything worked out well.”
Parks stated that his discussion with Marcial showed how much he cares for the players.
“Commissioner Willie always helps out. He’s a good commissioner, but aside from that he’s also a good friend. He cares about the players, the league and for sure that he only wants the best for the league,” he said.