We continue the PBA Imports Fantasy Tournament, where we picked 24 imports from across eras and grouped them into two brackets, with eight seeded directly into the second round. The remaining 16 will duke it out in our online polls. Our writers will preview each match-up, and you get to vote for the winner here and on One Sports PH's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Since its inception in 1975, the PBA has been graced by hundreds of international reinforcements. There were a few who only lasted a game, but there were also some who played a handful of years in the league and eventually became household names, such as Bobby Parks and Lamont Strothers.
When you talk about imports who carved out legacies in the PBA, it's inevitable to single out one particular guy: Bobby Parks, Sr. Most evident proof of this is how the Best Import Award has been named after him.
Parks started out his PBA career with a championship with San Miguel Beer. After that stint with the Beermen, he found a new home with Formula Shell where he played for 11 more years. By the time he hung up his jersey, he had won four PBA titles and seven Best Import awards, an achievement no other reinforcement has gotten close to until this day.
Parks was a scoring force. He was athleticism, agility, strength and speed in one package. If he wasn't blowing by defenders, he was going right at them for a highlight dunk. Sag off and let him shoot? You can count that as a bucket, too. He scored at least 60 points in five of his first seven seasons in the league, dropping a career-high 72 points in 1989. In over 200 games played in the PBA, Parks had an astounding career average of 40.5 points per game.
Offense was the most jaw-dropping part of his game, but it wasn't all of it. He was just as impressive on the defensive end. At 6-foot-4, Parks also normed 15.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game over the course of his PBA career. The same weapons he used on offense - athleticism, agility, strength and speed, he maximized to make sure scoring was not easy for opponents.
MATCHING UP WITH LAMONT STROTHERS
As Parks entered the homestretch of his playing career, San Miguel Beer introduced Lamont Strothers. There were some similarities in their game. Both were explosive on offense. Both were also dependable defenders. Although Strothers locked down the perimeter more than meeting guys at the basket like Parks did.
Numbers-wise, Parks' career averages and tenure outweigh Strothers'. An advantage that Strothers had, though, was he shot the ball better from deep. He held the record for more 3-point field goals made by an import for almost two decades until Ginebra's Justin Brownlee overtook him in early 2020. Parks did not shoot too many 3-pointers (89-for-286 in his PBA career), but he was still a decent 31% shooter from deep.
Parks versus Strothers would have been an incredible matchup to watch had they played their prime years in the same era. Both won multiple PBA championships and both won the Best Import award. And without a doubt, both are among the most prolific imports the league has ever seen.
Who wins this matchup? Cast your vote below or on our Facebook page.