by Jonas Terrado
The future of the Filipino players from both San Miguel Alab Pilipinas and Mono Vampire are concerns being pondered shortly after the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals came to a conclusion last night in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Alab star Ray Parks, Jr. is likely to submit his name to next year’s PBA Draft while Mono guard Paul Zamar could see himself getting rewarded with a PBA stint after a solid showing as one of the ASEAN Heritage imports of the Thai club.
The ABL crown was being contested at press time in a winner-take-all match after the two clubs split four games held in Sta. Rosa and Nonthaburi, Thailand. (Ed’s Note: Alab Pilipinas ended up winning the title over Mono Vampire in Game 5, 102-92.)
Ray Parks, Jr.
Parks has yet to reveal his plans, although observers believe the former National University standout’s entry to the PBA is long overdue.
His PBA stock has grown with his recent ABL play that included a 30-point performance in Alab’s 99-93 victory over Mono in Saturday’s Game 3 in Nonthaburi.
Meanwhile, Zamar may fulfill his ultimate dream of playing in the PBA after years of suiting up in semi-pro leagues and in Thailand where he won a local championship for Mono last season. Zamar was taken in the fourth round by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the 2012 draft.
Alab import Justin Brownlee is expected to report to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel after Game 5, though he may take a short rest after a rigid schedule and a hamstring injury suffered during the series.
New Fil-Ams to Look Out For
On the other hand, Fil-Americans Lawrence Domingo of Alab and Jason Brickman of Mono may take a complicated route to the draft as they still need to meet certain requirements to become eligible.
Domingo, known for his hustle plays, played the last two seasons for Alab after a college stint with Eastern New Mexico University, and Brickman could win the Finals MVP award (Ed’s Note: the Finals MVP award went to Ray Parks, Jr.) after a sublime performance as Mono’s lead playmaker.
However, the two players may have to wait at least until 2019 to join the draft, given the stringent requirements the PBA enforces for Fil-foreigners. Aside from citizenship requirements, Domingo, 25, and Brickman, 26, can either play in two PBA D-League conferences or wait until they turn 28 years old to be eligible for the draft.
Originally published in Manila Bulletin Sports Online.