PBA to tackle Parks case

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    THE Bobby Ray Parks case stands to have a ripple effect on other PBA players.

    Ricky Vargas of TNT, who got another term as PBA chairman yesterday, said the league is assembling a group that would come up with recommendations on how to deal with players like Parks, who offer varied excuses on why they refuse to play.

    “All these would have to be reviewed,” Vargas said during a break yesterday in the league’s planning session that ends today.

    “Other than the pandemic, this is an issue that hit us squarely in our faces because these are real issues that I think the PBA is faced with and challenged to look at,” added Vargas.

    Terrafirma’s Bobby Rosales, who was also re-elected as vice-chairman, will head the group that will have as members two lawyers whom Vargas refused to identify until they are officially invited.

    “There are a lot of important issues here,” said Rosales. “The group is important so we would be able to address different scenarios. How they could affect (PBA) basketball.

    “We could not rush into it. We have to do research, study, review and look at the different situations. Hopefully, we can come up with policies covering these issues.”

    Although nobody would say it out loud, the group’s formation was obviously spurred by the recent act of Parks, who announced last Saturday he is skipping this year’s coming season to care for his mother in Los Angeles.

    His reason was put under the microscope, however, when reports came out he has been in La Union last week, with a video surfacing showing him working out with national surfer Roger Casugay.

    Expectedly, TNT was left dumbfounded by Parks’ move.

    The southpaw combo guard’s contract with TNT expired at the end of last season and his announcement came after Tropang Giga management reportedly offered him a fresh two-year deal worth the league maximum of P420,000 a month, excluding perks.

    Vargas’ own efforts to contact and talk with Parks proved futile.

    “He has not gotten in touch with us. For me, personally, he has not gotten in touch as well.

    There’s no update,” said Vargas, before citing some examples from which the study group must help the PBA deal with.

    “Leave of absence, that’s No. 1,” Vargas started enumerating, before adding: “Number two, I have a contract and I want to play somewhere else, and No. 3, I don’t want to be drafted and only want to play for the national team.”

    Aside from Parks, the PBA has been rocked before by such instances, as in the case of Thirdy Ravena playing in the Japanese B-League instead of joining the PBA draft and Greg Slaughter taking a year-long sabbatical last year.

    Vargas offered one reason, although obliquely.

    “The PBA has gotten more and more universal. We have a lot of good talents here and the world is looking at them,” said the amiable executive. “Siguro, the pandemic has brought about some financial concerns.”