NU's Parks likens Ferrer to Detroit Bad Boys
|NU's Ray Parks (15) goes for a lay-up against UST defenders in their Final Four game at the Araneta Coliseum. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com|
MANILA, Philippines -- National University forward Ray Parks chose a legendary NBA team when discussing his match-up against Kevin Ferrer, the lanky swingman of the University of Santo Tomas.
"Michael Jordan had Detroit," Parks said, referring to the Pistons teams of the 1980s that were known as the "Bad Boys." "This is my Detroit. That's just the easiest way to say it. This is my Detroit right here."
Jordan and the Chicago Bulls repeatedly came up short against the Pistons in the 1980s, with the "Bad Boys" often frustrating Jordan with their highly physical brand of defense. It wasn't until 1991 when Jordan and the Bulls finally had their breakthrough against the Detroit Bad Boys.
Parks and his Bulldogs, however, have yet to experience a similar breakthrough against Ferrer and the Growling Tigers. Just this Sunday, the fourth-seeded UST stunned the top-seeded NU, 71-62, in their Final Four match-up at the Araneta Coliseum.
Parks scored 12 points, but was clearly bothered by Ferrer throughout the game.In the fourth quarter, with NU trying to make a run, Parks hurt his left wrist - his shooting wrist - while trying to cushion a fall. He went to the bench for a while, but eventually returned. That's when Ferrer did something that obviously rankled the two-time UAAP MVP.
"I landed on it when I got hit in the air, and I think I sprained my pinky at the same time. I was just in pain," said Parks, whose left wrist and ring and little fingers were heavily taped. "What's actually worse is, coming back into the game, Kevin Ferrer grabbed my wrists and my fingers, so I really don't know what to say about that."
It is not the first time that Ferrer has bothered Parks; in their Final Four showdown last season, the UST swingman also out-played the MVP on both ends of the floor as the Tigers eliminated the Bulldogs.
When asked who among the "Bad Boys" he could compare Ferrer to, Parks answered: "He's everybody and more."
"Playing in RP (Philippine youth team) with him, I never really just thought that he would come out like this, you know," Parks said. "I thought he was better than that. Sorry, but to come in the game and just grab my wrist and my finger, come on, that's just a little too low, you know? But I guess they were just thirsting for a win."
Parks added that Ferrer "had that little smirk on his face, throwing elbows."
"He was really just trying to cage me," he added.
Parks is determined to overcome the challenge presented by Ferrer and the Growling Tigers, however.
"My dad (seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks) has been through a lot of players like that. However way it has to get done, however Jordan did it, however my Dad did it, I'm gonna have to look into that. I have to really pray about it and see what God has in store for me and what I need to do," said Parks.
"All of the greatest went through it, I have to go through it, too," he said.
The key for NU is to come out with a sense of urgency and aggressiveness in their do-or-die game on Saturday, said Parks.
"I guess we gotta come out with the same intention. Not to intentionally hurt anybody, because that's not how we play, but... we just gotta bounce back the next game, and just be aggressive. Play clean, and be aggressive," Parks said.
As for Ferrer and the physical UST defense, Parks says he will simply have to adjust.
"I have to study how UST really plays me. They'll play me dirty, but you have to play through it. It's Philippine basketball, it comes with it," Parks said.
Ferrer, for his part, relishes the chance to match-up against one of the best players in the UAAP.
"Si Parks, ako naman, hindi ako magpapatalo," said Ferrer, who stresses that he has nothing personal against Parks. "Kasi kapag sinasabing magaling ka, gusto kitang depensahan. Ayun 'yung naging challenge sa akin."