Kobe Paras upbeat about the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 squad he'll eventually lead
"Iím happy that coach Picked me as well. I love representing my country." -- Kobe Paras (File Photo courtesy of FIBA)
If you ask Filipino forward Kobe Paras to describe what all the early developments for the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the 2023 FIBA World Cup make him feel, you'll get one word: Happy.
Paras, who was one of the more prominent names among 23 young players listed by the Philippine national basketball team head coach Chot Reyes to be part of the early training pool, expressed his approval of the group of guys, even if some are visibly left off of the list because of their commitment to other squads.
"I’m happy with the group of guys. I know there are a lot of guys that aren’t on the list," Paras said in an interview with Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News North America during the Los Angeles Clippers' Filipino Heritage Night. "It makes sense if they’re not on the list because of their teams or whatever rules but I’m happy with it."
One player who fit that bill was De La Salle University's flashy forward Ricci Rivero, who was left off the list after his school urged its players to focus on their rebuild next UAAP season.
Even then, the 6'6" Paras, who's more or less baptized by Coach Chot to be destined to be the face of the nationa team sounded both honored and excited about his inclusion to the squad, who'll represent the Filipino tricolor five years from now, as the Philippines co-hosts the international basketball meet with Indonesia and Japan.
"I’m happy that coach picked me as well. I love representing my country so I’m just really happy that he chose me for that," said the U.S.-based Paras. "I saw the other day they practiced."
Aside from local, homegrown talents included in the "#23for23" pool like Thirdy Ravena, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Isaac Go, a couple of Filipino-Americans also made the list.
As a fellow Pinoy cager in a foreign land, Kobe is nothing but eager to meet, and eventually play his contemporaries.
"I haven’t talked to Remy [Martin] or what’s his name from Fullerton...Dwight [Ramos]," Kobe said. "I think I’m going to play him too. I gotta talk to Dwight but I’ve seen Remy play. I need to talk to them though. Because we’re representing L.A. and the Philippines so it’s going to be cool."
Here's the full video interview of Kobe Paras:
.@_kokoparas enjoyed being at .@LAClippers Filipino Heritage Night and he also expressed his happiness about being on SBP #23for23 He hopes to also speak to .@3wight and .@1Remy_Martin1 soon 🇵🇭🏀🌊 .@abscbnsports .@ABSCBNNewsSport .@ABSCBNNews pic.twitter.com/e8GcUq1Luf— Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) January 9, 2018