Bobby Parks loses battle with cancer, passes away at 51

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 30 2013 06:41 PM | Updated as of Mar 31 2013 09:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATED) Bobby Parks, among the greatest imports that ever played in the Philippine Basketball Association, lost his battle with cancer, passing away yesterday at 51.

Bobby Parks Sr. with his son Ray Parks Jr. during an interview with ANC's Hardball in January 2011. File photo

Parks, a champion import with San Miguel Beer and Shell, died of lung cancer which developed from his previously untreated laryngeal cancer, leaving behind a great legacy in the local pro play.

The former Memphis State U stalwart, a third-round choice by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1984 NBA Draft, played in the PBA from 1987 to 1993, making the PBA Hall of Fame in 2009 with his record seven Best Import citations.

Before his passing, he's connected, among others, with the National University Bulldogs where his son Bobby Ray Jr. is currently the star player.

He also coached the San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).

Hard court peers and foes showered Parks with praises and tributes moments after his passing.

"Bobby loved his family, friends n basketball immensely. He leaves behind a legacy of passion, excellence and winning. RIP Bob. You are home," said former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on his Twitter account.

"More than his seven Best Import Awards, Bobby brought in an un-import-like work ethic, in contrast to the ‘pa-star’ ways of most imports then and now," posted national coach Chot Reyes on his own Twitter page.

"As a player, there was no way to stop him. Every time we schemed to stop him, he'd either seen the scheme before or figured it out so quickly that it became useless," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.