Paras wants to earn his place in Gilas Pilipinas

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 25, 2017 05:39 PM
Paras wants to earn his place in Gilas Pilipinas
THE RIGHT WAY. Kobe Paras said he will try out for a spot in Gilas Pilipinas.

Kobe Paras will be representing the Philippines for the first time in seniors play in the 2017 FIBA 3X3 World Cup.

And after that, the six-foot-six Filipino prospect in the US is looking at wearing the flag in full-court five-on-five play.

“This year, I’m taking a break from college basketball just because of residency. I really plan on trying out for Gilas,” he shared with reporters in the national team’s press conference last Wednesday.

He then continued, “Under (US) NCAA rules, if it’s representing your country, okay naman. So I talked to SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) and pwede naman akong maglaro.”

Paras, who had just transferred from Creighton to Cal State Northridge, will have to sit out one season before being eligible to play in the US NCAA.

However, the 19-year-old made it clear that he plans on trying out and not just making the team based on his name. As he put it, “I’m not the type of person who receives a call or text from a coach and plays right away. I wanna be fair and I believe in equal opportunity for everyone.”

He then continued, “I don’t really care if I’m famous enough. I care to try out before even entering a team.”

Whatever Gilas squad he’s eyeing to join – be it the one participating in the SEA Games or the FIBA Asia later in the year – Paras did not mince words in expressing his desire to continue representing the Philippines. “Any place na nasaan ang Gilas, I wanna join. I just wanna represent my country just because it’s a different experience,” he said.

And just like any national team player or aspirant, Paras said there is but one hope against all hopes. “The Olympics is my dream talaga. To be an Olympic athlete, I think it’s every athlete’s dream,” he expressed.

Before whatever may come, the son of Philippine basketball legend Benjie will team up with JR Quinahan, Kiefer Ravena, and Jeron Teng for Chooks-Pilipinas 3X3.

The Philippine team will see action in the 2017 FIBA 3X3 World Cup that will run from June 17 to 21 in Nantes, France.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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