Ray Parks turned in the second 40-point game of the PBA bubble by shining in a career night for TNT, which cruised past Terrafima, 112-101, in the 2020 Philippine Cup Tuesday at the Angeles University Foundation gym in Pampanga.
After missing the Tropang Giga’s opening night due to a calf strain, Parks looked refreshed and scored on an array of layups, jumpers and threes to wind up with a personal-best 40 points on 13-for-18 shooting from the field. He also hit 7-of-9 triples and added 10 rebounds, five dimes, a steal and a block in his finest game in TNT uniform so far.
“I just want to show the hard work that I put in and the team has put in. To be honest, I’m tired of being forgotten. I feel like I’ve been slept on,” Parks said during the walk-off interview. “So I just wanted to use this time to really just showcase my game and all the hard work I’ve been putting in and I’m just glad my teammates trust me enough to put the ball in my hands and just lead.”
Parks’ explosion was a welcome sight for TNT — now up 2-0 in the standings — after Roger Pogoy, who fired 45 huge points in the team’s season-opening win, cooled down and finished with just 11 on 4-for-15 shots. Behind the 27-year-old sophomore, TNT stayed in control all game and never trailed.
The Tropang Giga pulled away in the second quarter, when it used an 11-0 spurt to turn a slim 33-29 lead into a 44-29 advantage. Parks scored 12 in that quarter and continued his assault after that run to help TNT build a 20-point advantage before the half.
“Someone always has to fill in. If one is having an off night, someone else has to step up,” coach Bong Ravena said of Parks’ brilliant night. “We need that early in the conference.”
Terrafirma never really threatened, though they crept within nine a couple of times in the second half. Parks always had an answer, dousing any Dyip attempt with a timely jumper or triple to keep TNT in control. He had 25 in the second half.
TNT also drew a 20-point, 15-rebound double-double from Troy Rosario. Jayson Castro, the team’s hero in the clutch in the season opener, added 13 and four assists.
“Kuya Jayson has always been in my ear, and all my vets, my teammates are encouraging one another,” said Parks. “We’re happy for one another. Everything is genuine.”
Poy Erram also had a better night after a forgettable debut for the Tropang Giga and wound up with 14 points, three assists and two rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
“We just told him, ‘Don’t play too emotional.’ He often gets caught up when he doesn’t play the game he wants to play. He gets frustrated. But he’s learning to control himself,” said Ravena. “Hopefully in our coming games his mindset is the same.”
CJ Perez scored 30 points on 9-for-23 shooting for the Dyip. Glenn Khobuntin added 16, while JP Calvo and Rashawn McCarthy threw in 14 each in the loss. Top pick Roosevelt Adams had a pretty quiet night and finished with seven points (3-for-11 shots) and 10 boards.
TNT will try to capture its third win when it battles San Miguel (0-1) this Friday.
“We need to recover after this game because we’re facing San Miguel, whom we respect so much,” said Ravena. “They’re not going to let themselves lose easily. We need to maximize our days off and let their bodies get some rest so we’ll be ready to play San Miguel.”
TNT (112) — Parks 40, Rosario 20, Castro 15, Erram 14, Pogoy 11, Reyes 4, Enciso 3, De Leon 2, Carey 0, Semerad 0, Montalbo 0.
Terrafirma (101) — Perez 30, Khobuntin 16, Calvo 14, McCarthy 14, Ramos 9, Adams 7, Camson 5, Celda 3, Faundo 2, Gabayni 1, Cahilig 0, Batiller 0, Balagasay 0.
Quarters: 27-19, 56-43, 90-75, 112-101.
– TNT dominated the glass 55-41. Twelve of their 15 second-chance points as a result of that advantage came in the first half.
– TNT shot more threes again (44) than twos (41) and converted 17 for an impressive 38.6 percent clip.
– Perez was a team-worst minus-13 in 41 minutes.
– Terrafirma vs. Rain or Shine on Oct. 16 at 4 p.m.
– TNT vs. San Miguel on Oct. 16 at 6:45 p.m.