NEARLY three decades ago, the late Bobby Parks and Benjie Paras formed up one of the best import-local front line combination in the PBA which led to two championships for the Shell Turbochargers.
Fast forward 2017, their sons — Ray Parks and Kobe Paras — have found themselves teaming up and playing for the Gilas Pilipinas team that will represent the country in the coming Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia next month.
Mr. Parks was a seven-time PBA Best Import and a Hall of Famer. He helped the Turbochargers in winning their first championship in the 1990 First Conference in a controversial championship series against the Añejo Rhum 65ers, then the team being carried by the old Barangay Ginebra franchise.
Shell reclaimed the title in the 1992 edition of the same conference, beating then powerhouse, but injury-riddled San Miguel Beermen.
Mr. Paras, on the other hand, is the only Rookie of the Year/Most Valuable Player award winner in the league. He was a two-time MVP, winning in 1989 and 1999, respectively. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame along with Mr. Parks and another former Shell teammate and long-time buddy Ronnie Magsanoc.
This time, their off springs will have a chance to team up in the SEA Games in hope of continuing the Philippine men’s basketball team’s dominance in the biennial meet. Since 1989, the country has been winning the gold medal in the men’s cage tournament.
Messrs. Parks and Paras will headline the Gilas Pilipinas team playing in the SEA Games alongside another second generation player Kiefer Ravena, son of former PBA Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player awardee Bong Ravena.
Messrs. Parks and Ravena were previously members of the Gilas pool.
The 6-foot-2 Parks played for the Gilas Pilipinas team in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament held last year in Manila. Both teams were coached by American-Kiwi Tab Baldwin, who is now calling the shots for the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Mr. Ravena, on the other hand, was also part of the Gilas pool. He led the Cadet team in winning the gold medal of the SEA Games two years ago in Singapore.
Their return to the pool came as a welcome development as both players were not included among the aspirants when the Gilas Pilipinas team were building up for the Southeast Asia Basketball Association Championship (SEABA Championship).
“I was in limbo. I was informed that only PBA players will be allowed to be included in the pool,” said Mr. Parks.
In a previous interview with BusinessWorld, Mr. Ravena said he would continuously keep himself in shape to make sure he’s ready anytime there’s a call up. He has played in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup where he teamed up with Mr. Paras.
When the door was opened by Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes to non-PBA players, Messrs. Parks, Ravena and Paras were among those included immediately.
The three second generation players will lead the team for the SEA Games that will be composed of PBA players Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Ed Daquioag, Kevin Ferrer, Fonzo Gotladera, Jio Jalalon, Von Pessumal, Roger Pogoy, Mike Tolomia, and Matthew Wright. Three other non-PBA players were also tapped to play by Mr. Reyes — Christian Standhardinger, Raymar Jose and Almond Vosotros. — Rey Joble