Parks pays tribute to his lost love

NU Bulldogs star Bobby Ray Parks knows his team has a chance of winning it all, and as such he is dedicating every game he plays this season to the memory of his late girlfriend.

Parks came out to warm up for the Bulldogs’ game against University of the East yesterday wearing a t-shirt with “I love Maan” written in front, an ode to Maan Panganiban, his late girlfriend who tragically succumbed to cancer early this year. A photo of Panganiban flashing the peace sign is printed on a heart-shaped insignia representing the word "love".

“I’m definitely dedicating this season to Maan,” Parks told Yahoo! Sports after the Bulldogs walloped the Warriors, 90-55. “I mean, she was really there for me. Even last year, she was there every game. But of course, you know, life goes on. And she’s in a better place. And by me wearing that shirt, it shows that I just want to dedicate this game to her.”

The league’s reigning MVP has taken to pointing skywards before he enters the court, a gesture he says is meant to honor both the Almighty and his no. 1 fan.

“I’m pointing up to God, to give him honor and praise. And Maan, too. I know she’s up there with him.”

Panganiban, a former courtside reporter for the Bulldogs, passed away last January, a little over a year after she and Parks became an item. She started covering NU games for ABS-CBN in Season 72, when the team was still one of the league’s doormats. She returned for a second tour of duty in 2010, the same year she first met Parks.

She transferred to News5 last year and was beginning to make a name for herself as a reporter when she suddenly fell ill in early December. She was eventually diagnosed with lymphoma, and sadly lost her battle against the disease in late January.

Maan is gone but certainly not forgotten, especially by the team she used to cheer for, and as Parks and the Bulldogs embark on their quest for a championship, they can rest assured that someone up there will be watching over them and cheering them on.

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