The Blackwater Elite have asked PBA commissioner Willy Marcial to intervene as talks with Bobby Ray Parks, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, have stalled.
The Elite's board governor Silliman Sy met with Parks and his agent Charlie Dy at Bonifacio Global City and sought to convince Parks to join the team in time for the opening of the 2019 PBA season on Sunday.
But Sy said Parks wants to finish his current duties with the San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas in the ABL.
"Their point of view was, when Ray Parks field his rookie application, they said Rayray indicated in page two of the form that he still has an existing contract with Alab. That's their claim but of course, we didn't see it anymore," Sy told ESPN5 on Tuesday.
The Parks situation is similar to when Christian Standhardinger first finished his contract with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the 2018 ABL season before joining San Miguel in the Commissioner's Cup. Standhardinger was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 PBA top rookie pick.
But Sy said the key difference with Standhardinger's case is the PBA board agreed to let Standhardinger fulfill his contractual obligations first with Hong Kong.
"The PBA board was aware of Standhardinger's case and in fact, the board approved of him finishing his ABL stint first. That was during the time of [commissioner] Chito Narvasa," Sy said.
While Marcial is set to intervene, Sy said Blackwater will accept whatever decision Marcial hands down, as long as it happens quickly.
"Again, whatever happens, Blackwater welcomes Rayray to the team. And we will respect whatever decision the commissioner will make," shared Sy.
Blackwater has already offered a three-year rookie maximum deal to Parks worth P10.4 million. Parks has agreed in principle but has not signed the deal.
While the Parks impasse continues, the Elite managed to top the San Miguel Beermen 103-98 in a scrimmage Tuesday at the Acropolis gym in Quezon City.
Veteran guard Mike DiGregorio said it was a good morale boost for the Elite
"I thought we did well with this new group, new batch of guys that we have to incorporate into the team system. Guys we need to teach the defensive rotation and our system on offense," DiGregorio told ESPN5 after the game.
Alolino thankful to Blackwater
Gelo Alolino is thankful for a new beginning with the Blackwater Elite after signing a one-year deal with the camp.
Blackwater this offseason traded away John Paul Erram, John Nard Pinto and Paul Zamar.
With new faces joining the roster, DiGregorio said there will be an adjustment period as Paul Desiderio, Abu Tratter, Diego Dario, Gelo Alolino, and Joseph Eriobu get acclimated.
"The rookies, they bring in an attitude that is eager to learn. We know the college game is different from the pro game, but there's gonna be a little bit of a learning curve, they they can bring that attitude of learning, and also bring in energy and physicality," DiGregorio said.
The Elite are coming off a fifth place finish in the 2018 Governors' Cup, the biggest achievement of the five-year-old franchise.