Two hardcourt stars among major recipients in Annual Awards Night
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
10:42 pm | Sunday, February 17th, 2013 A 12-YEAR pro who bagged his first Most Valuable Player plum and an amateur star who copped his second straight MVP award share the spotlight as basketball awardees when the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) honors the top Filipino athletes of 2012 next month.
Mark Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra and National University star Bobby Ray Parks will be honored as “Mr Basketball” in the professional and amateur ranks, respectively, during the PSA-Milo Annual Awards Night on March 16 at Manila Hotel.
Caguioa—who has only played for crowd-darling Ginebra since getting drafted in the PBA in 2001—finally picked up the only missing prize in his illustrious career when the ace guard won the PBA Season 37 MVP last year.
Parks, the son of seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks, also had a phenomenal run as he bagged back-to-back MVPs while powering the Bulldogs to the UAAP Final Four for the first time in 11 years.
Both cagers will join the four co-winners of the Athlete of the Year award—WBO super bantamweight king Nonito Donaire Jr., world boxing gold medalist Josie Gabuco, softball World Series champion Team Manila and five-time UAAP basketball titlist Ateneo—in the awards night hosted by the country’s oldest media organization.
Also receiving major awards are horse Hagdang Bato and champion jockey Jonathan Hernandez in the event presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Basketball Association, Rain or Shine, LBC, ICTSI, Philippine Golf Tour, Harbour Centre, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Smart.
Caguioa, nicknamed “The Spark,” earned his second PSA award in six years since winning the top pro player citation in 2007.
Parks received his first best amateur player plum last year which he shared with San Sebastian’s Calvin Abueva.
(The Philippine Star) | Updated March 6, 2013 - 12:00am
Seven-time PBA Best Import awardee Bobby Parks has lost at least 50 pounds in his fierce battle against lung cancer but isn’t giving up hope of recovering. He’s been confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City since Jan. 31. Parks is now in a private room after a long stay in the Intensive Care Unit.
Parks’ wife Jasmine has been at his side throughout the ordeal. There are plans to move Parks out of St. Luke’s and into his home as soon as his family is able to procure a hospital bed. A philanthropic taipan has offered to pay for Parks’ medical bills while a sports official from a large conglomerate said he will try to get a bed from the hospital which his family owns. The outpouring of support for Parks is heartwarming. A big businessman offered to fly Parks to Singapore for specialized cancer treatment only at the moment, the former Memphis State star is unable to travel.
Parks, 51, was initially diagnosed to be afflicted with laryngeal cancer a few years back but won that battle. The cancer, however, recurred in the lungs and now, Parks is in for a tougher fight.
In his hospital bed, Parks is fed through a tube in his nose and still unable to speak. But there are positive signs of recovery. Now, he is able to sit up for about an hour in a chair. He is conscious and recognizes his visitors. His legs and feet are swollen in an edema condition. Last Sunday night, Parks watched the PBA contest between Rain Or Shine and Barangay Ginebra from his bed and appeared to be fully aware of what went on in the game. I visited Parks at that time and drew a smile when I promised to bring over his picture in an Atlanta Hawks uniform I stumbled on in a book entitled “Inside Basketball: From the Playgrounds to the NBA” by Mike Decourcy.
Parks never got to play in the NBA regular season but suited up for Atlanta in the 1984-85 preseason. He was the Hawks’ third round pick in the 1984 draft. In one picture, Parks is shown defending New York Knicks’ star Bernard King with Hawks teammates Glenn (Doc) Rivers and Stewart Granger. Parks played as an import in France before landing in the PBA with San Miguel Beer in 1987. He wound up seeing action in 13 PBA seasons, compiling 8,955 points in 221 games for a 40.5 clip. Parks is one of only five imports to average at least 40 a game in the PBA. The others are Billy Ray Bates, Lew Massey, Larry McNeill and Norman Black.
After his playing career, Parks coached Spring Cooking Oil in the NBL and in Brunei. He later became an assistant coach with San Miguel Beer in the PBA and head coach of the San Miguel team in the ABL. Last year, Parks piloted the Beermen to the ABL finals. This year, San Miguel is out to win its first ABL title for Parks who has relinquished the head coaching job to Leo Austria.
Parks has four children – Quincy, 31, Ray-Ray, 20, Celine Ira, 17 and Montell, 12. His son Ray-Ray is a National University stalwart and tipped to eventually become a star in the PBA.