RAY PARKS, Jr. is staying put in the Japan B.League after signing a new deal with the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.
The Dolphins on Monday announced the development, inking the Filipino import to a one-year contract extension following his huge role in their playoff run last season.
Mr. Parks registered 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals in his B.League debut to help Nagoya barge into the playoffs at No. 7 with an impressive 34-15 slate.
As teams of other local aces struggled, Mr. Parks was the only Filipino cager to make it to the B.League playoffs last season before Nagoya bowed to Kawasaki in the best-of-three quarterfinals, 2-0.
“Amidst us falling short this year and battling many obstacles, we managed to fight and I can’t be more proud of the team. All this was possible due to the love and unconditional support from our Dolphins family. I can’t wait to come back again next year. We will definitely continue to give it our all,” said Mr. Parks in a statement.
Meanwhile, Ateneo guard SJ Belangel clarified that he has not signed any contract overseas yet despite reports that he’s already turning pro in the Korean Basketball League (KBL).
However, he confirmed that there are interests and offers from the KBL teams as well as from Japan and Taiwan according to his interview with scribes in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 47 opener.
Should he take on the overseas route, Mr. Belangel will follow the growing list of local standouts taking their talents abroad but will be the first in the KBL.
Mr. Parks, Kiefer Ravena (Shiga), Kobe Paras (Niigata), Dwight Ramos (Toyama and now Hokkaido), Matthew Aquino (Shinshu), Javi Gomez de Liaño (Ibaraki), Juan Gomez de Liaño (Tokyo), and Kemark Cariño (Aomori) followed trailblazer Thirdy Ravena (San-en) in Japan last year while Jordan Heading (Taichung) took his act to Taiwan.
Javi has come home since then and got drafted in the PBA and Juan has played for Gilas Pilipinas and now in the 3×3 circuit, while La Salle big man Justine Baltazar recently signed with Hiroshima also in the B.League. — John Bryan Ulanday