By Frankie Serrano
You guys remember one of the opening scenes for Guillermo Del Toro’s mecha hit Pacific Rim?
No, not that one involving Raleigh Beckett, played by Charlie Hunnam, we’ll get to that in a bit. But the one where a Category 4 kaiju breaks down the protective wall that’s supposed to keep it out? Remember that now?
Disregarding what happened to it afterward, I want you to envision that mere act of breaking through a wall so thick that’s meant to keep something out and devastating everything it sets its sights on. In a way, for someone we call Kaiju, it’s about breaking barriers erected by the basketball gods in giving Filipinos a chance on a world setting.
Which brings me to that other Pacific Rim opening sequence, the one with Raleigh Beckett dragging his busted Jaeger, after seeing his brother die right before his very eyes, in the snow.
You know what, that reminds me of a certain prospect. That guy has our massive respect for choosing family instead of a surer, and smoother, path to the league via a stint in Georgia Tech. It may have cost him his draft status.
But somewhere, out there, in an Alab jersey, Bobby Ray Parks shouldn’t be regretting his decision. Even if his NBA dream is something akin to a busted Jaeger, he set out on a path that no Filipino ever dared, despite the uncertainty, despite him ending up back home.
Junior trailblazed a path for Filipinos but he ended up facing a wall that was quite thick and cannot be easily brought down. So he grinded, pounded, and chipped on that wall bit by bit during his stay with the Texas Legends. Eventually, he knew that he wouldn’t be the one to tear it down, that he’s just the first envoy of the Philippines to the dream league.
That’s the good that I think, came out of Bobby Ray Parks’ attempt at the NBA. Despite the failure of landing in an active NBA roster, he laid down a road for a future Filipino to shoot for the stars.
This is what paved the way for the Kaiju to shoot his own shot and focus on basketball abroad rather than stay here in the country. More than anything else, it’s Parks who showed that Filipinos can and will compete in better competition.
Seeing that the wall has considerably thinned thanks to Parks displaying his abilities for the G-League squad, and even Ateneo alum Kiefer Ravena getting some burn as a practice player, the barrier has been perfectly set up to be broken down by a 7’2” 16-year-old. He who has displayed undeniable basketball talent and potential since his second year playing for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets and headlining several Batang Gilas campaigns internationally. It’s a different case of Kaiju Blue that we are going to get and not that messed up blood of the things that got smashed in Pacific Rim.
The Kaiju Blue coming to a European club near you is Pinoy-powered and will break the damn wall down, come hell or high water.