MANILA, Philippines -- TNT's sophomore swingman Ray Parks served notice to the league after a 40-point explosion against TerraFirma Dyip, in his first game for the Tropang Giga in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
Parks sat out TNT's first game of the conference due to a calf strain, but showed no lingering effects of the injury as he made 13 of his 18 field goals, including seven of 10 three-pointers in a 112-101 triumph.
The explosive performance was a timely reminder of Parks' explosive talent after a rollercoaster rookie season that saw him get traded from Blackwater to TNT, and an eventful offseason where he opted to sign just a one-year extension with the franchise instead of a long-term contract.
"I just want to show the hard work that I put in and, you know, the team has put in to be honest," the 27-year-old guard said after the game. "I'm tired of being forgotten."
"I just feel like I've been slept on," added Parks, the second overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft. "I just want to use this time to really just showcase my game and all the hard work I've been putting in."
Parks hit the timely shots for TNT to help them put away the pesky Dyip, who refused to go down easily despite trailing by as much as 20 points.
CJ Perez -- the reigning Rookie of the Year and the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft -- had 30 points and six rebounds but eventually came up on the losing end in a duel with Parks.
Parks added 11 rebounds and five assists to his line, as TNT grabbed an early lead in the All-Filipino Cup with their 2-0 record.
"I'm just glad my teammates trust me enough to put the ball in my hands and just lead," he also said. "Kuya Jayson (Castro) and all my vets, (we're) encouraging one another."
"And every time we knock down a shot, it doesn't matter who. We're happy for one another. Everything is genuine," Parks added.
TNT head coach Bong Ravena lauded Parks for stepping up, especially as Roger Pogoy was a marked man after he scored a career-best 45 points in their game against Alaska last Sunday. Pogoy and Parks became the first pair of teammates to have 40-point performances in a game after the other in 30 years.
"Basta kailangan talaga, merong mag-fill ng role, ng contribution," said Ravena. "Baka 'yung isa, mag-off. Kailangan meron talagang nagi-step up. So kailangan namin 'yan while the games are maaga pa. We're just happy we won the game."