MANILA, Philippines -- When TNT's Ray Parks revealed his goal of earning Defensive Player of the Year honors, he immediately got support from one of the PBA's premiere defensive players.
San Miguel's Chris Ross, who is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a five-time member of the All-Defensive Team, told Parks that it is a "super capable goal" for the young guard.
"You definitely have all the tools to be elite on that end," Ross further said.
For Ross, seeing an up-and-coming star like Parks publicly declare his intent to be more defensive-minded is refreshing. As a player who has always taken pride in his work on the defensive end, Ross takes pride in how some of the league's younger stars are also beginning to recognize its importance.
"A lot of times, when people come up, when young guys come up in the league, they only think about offense and when you see workout videos, you only see offense," he noted.
"You only see guys doing dribble moves and things like that," he added.
"When you see someone as talented as he is, and on the team that he's on, with so much talent, that's gonna really focus on the defensive end of the game, it really puts a smile on my face."
Since he broke into the scene as National University's ace player in college, Parks has been more known for his offensive exploits. As a rookie, he averaged over 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game for the KaTropa in the Governors' Cup.
He was even more productive in Blackwater, averaging over 22 points and nearly 8 boards per game before he was eventually traded to TNT.
As promising as Parks is as a scorer, Ross has no doubt that he can also excel as a defender.
"I loved that he said that because the kid is so talented, everyone knows the type of talent he has," said Ross. "For him to want to excel on the other end of the floor, it makes me happy."
The Defensive Player of the Year is handed out by the PBA Press Corps at the end of every season. The latest winner is NorthPort swingman Sean Anthony.
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