Since Bobby Ray Parks has already played for the national team in the past, he can play in the Philippine Basketball Association.
But there is one condition he must meet.
“Pa-draft lang siya,” said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.
Parks recently felt slighted after the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League initially deemed him as a Fil-foreigner.
Parks was supposed be drafted by the Mandaluyong team with his Alab Pilipinas teammates, but MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said there’s a new rule limiting Fil-foreigners to just one per team and no taller than 6’4”
Parks, son of seven-time PBA best import, American Bobby Ray Parks and was born and raised in the Philippines, considers himself a full-bloodied Filipino.
“First time in my life I was considered an American in my own country,” wrote Parks on his Twitter account @ray15parks.
Marcial said there are no issues over Parks’ citizenship since he has already played for the national team in the past. He is therefore welcome to join the PBA, provided he enters the draft.
The MPBL is another case, though.
In a new development, Duremdes said the league will look at the documents of Parks to see if he will qualify as a local or a Fil-foreigner.
On Wednesday, Bernice Ilagan, co-owner of the Mandaluyong El Tigre, asked Duremdes on the status of their prospective player Parks as well as another Fil-foreign player, Lawrence Domingo. Both were teammates at Alab Pilipinas Team.
“In a press release, you categorized Ray Parks as a Fil-Am and also Lawrence Domingo. In your statement, you said we must only choose one. Either si Ray Parks or si Lawrence Domingo,” said Ilagan. “Doon naman kay Lawrence, he was considered Fil-Am. Then we measured him and he was measured 6’4”. But given all these, can we consider Ray Parks as a local?”
Duremdes responded: “Titingnan natin ‘yung papel niyan. We cannot decide right away kung wala ‘yung mga documents. Malalaman natin doon kung at the time of his birth ba ay ‘yung father ba niya is a naturalized already or American citizen pa at that time? Kung American citizen pa ‘yung tatay niya at that time of his birth, he’s considered a Filipino-American.”
The elder Parks was not a naturalized citizen and so the decision of the MPBL considering Parks as a Fil-foreigner, stands. He is therefore is barred to play for Mandaluyong team, unless another MPBL team without a Fil-foreigner hires his services.
“Marami tayong nababalitaan (about) Fil-Ams, kaya tayo nag-set ng guidelines sa Fil-foreigners para pa rin sa vision ng liga natin. Giving chance sa mga homegrown and local players natin. ‘Yun naman ang vision ng ligang ito. Hindi naman natin sinasabing bawal sila totally, kaya nga binibigyan natin ng one Fil-foreign player each team sa ngayon. Wala pa naman tayong isang taon. MPBL has set the guidelines,” said league’s legal counsel Atty. Brando Viernesto