New Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone spent several days in the United States scouting the NBA Summer League.
That meant he got a good look at Filipino NBA hopeful Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. and the multi-titled PBA coach came away impressed.
“NBA players were huge, that’s why Ray looked smaller. But he has been defending them pretty well and that’s one of the things appreciated by the coaches,” Cone said.
Parks had the chance to go against legitimate competition, like Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson and rookie D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Cone also noted how Parks improved as the league went on and he believes that he can elevate his game even higher if he can get the chance to play more games in the US.
Parks is fulfilling a promise to his father, seven-time PBA Best Import awardee Bobby, to pursue his NBA dream but with the Dallas Mavericks, the team he played for in Summer League, already having 14 players with live contracts, it would be difficult for him to crack the lineup.
Cone believes, though, that Parks could benefit from staying in the US and spending time in the NBA Developmental League to further hone his game.
“I told him, if you play 20 games in the D-League, you’ll be used to playing with these guys the way you played with your teammates at NU. Your confidence level will be up and you’ll be able to compete,” Cone said.
“I personally think it’s a good idea for him to play in the D-League. A year there would certainly elevate his game and he’ll be special once he comes back here.”
According to Cone, Parks showed plenty reason to be positive about his Summer League stint despite his limited playing time.
“The thing that impressed me the most was Ray Ray’s ability to adapt,” Cone said. “At the beginning he had a difficult time kindly adjusting to the level of play, understanding how far he had to go, but you could see on the floor, when he was in there he was doing everything right. The problem is, he wasn’t given much time.”
“He got three minutes the first game, five minutes the second game and suddenly he got 18 minutes. They got beaten in early games when he wasn’t playing much then when he played for a legitimate 18 minutes, he was doing everything right. He was in a right position and he was scoring a lot.”
» Former coach Tim Cone expects breakout season from James Yap: ‘He sacrificed his game to mesh with my system’
» Ginebra coach Tim Cone says team thinking long-term: ‘We want to take our time, build strong foundation’
» Tim Cone’s old team Star still feels ‘awkward’ seeing ex-coach on opposite side with Ginebra