PBA: Ray Parks, Chris Banchero trades to fire up race for playoff incentives

Published November 4, 2019, 10:16 AM

by Jonas Terrado

The pair of trades that rocked the PBA during the All Saint’s Day break could set the stage for a wild and wooly race for the twice-to-beat advantage given to the top four teams after the Governors’ Cup eliminations.

Blackwater's Ray Parks Jr. tries to drive past TNT's KJ McDaniels, center, as Don Trollano, rightmost, looks on. Reports surfaced that the Elite has reached an agreement to send the prized rookie to the KaTropa. (PBA Images)

Blackwater’s Ray Parks Jr. tries to drive past TNT’s KJ McDaniels, center, as Don Trollano, rightmost, looks on. Reports surfaced that the Elite has reached an agreement to send the prized rookie to the KaTropa. (PBA Images)

Co-leader TNT KaTropa is hoping to get things back to normal following the acquisition of star rookie Ray Parks Jr. from Blackwater while defending champion Magnolia hopes to make a late surge after obtaining Chris Banchero from Alaska.

Parks and Banchero officially moved to new teams after the PBA Commissioner’s Office approved the deal Sunday night. Both players attended their first practice for TNT and Magnolia on Monday.

TNT is tied with NLEX at 7-1 with Parks set to make his debut against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in a key battle for playoff positioning Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Banchero debuts for Magnolia Wednesday against Phoenix Pulse at the Cuneta Astrodome with a chance to improve its 4-4 slate.

All three teams of Manny V. Pangilinan are in a good position to secure the quarterfinal bonus with NLEX on even terms with TNT and Meralco in third spot at 6-2 following its 101-77 rout of Ginebra over the weekend.

Meralco has slowly emerged as a title contender after back-to-back wins that began with a 127-99 demolition of San Miguel last Oct. 27 with the recent acquisitions of Allein Maliksi and Raymar Jose coupled with the dominant showing of import Allen Durham.

Ginebra fell to a tie for fourth with Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer at 5-3, leaving them and fellow San Miguel Corporation squad Magnolia to battle it out for the other spot in the top four, barring a slip-up by at least one of the three MVP squads.

Parks hopes to get a fresh start at TNT after his second conference with Blackwater ended with a series of inconsistent numbers on the points and assists departments.

Surrounded by a talented lineup powered by import KJ McDaniels, Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy could be the boost Parks needs.

Meanwhile, Banchero will turn from foe to ally almost a year after being on the losing end of 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals that saw Magnolia beating Alaska in six games.

 
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