Kobe Paras urges Gilas to go all-amateur for SEA Games

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 21, 2019 07:54 PM
Kobe Paras urges Gilas to go all-amateur for SEA Games
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Kobe Paras and seven other amateur standouts were named into the 24-man pool of players being eyed for Gilas Pilipinas in the oncoming 2019 SEA Games.

Of course, the University of the Philippines forward is nothing but glad to have another shot at wearing the flag. "I'm just really happy. I was the youngest in the last SEA Games so hopefully, the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) and the coaches give me another chance," he said, referring to being part of the Gilas cadets who won gold in the 2017 version of the regional meet in Malaysia.

He then continued, "Representing the country is one thing I love to do and I'm just glad that I'm part of the pool."

At the same time, though, Paras is also hopeful that he will get to share the stage not only with fellow Fighting Maroons Juan Gomez de Liano and Ricci Rivero, but also Ateneo de Manila University's Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena, De La Salle University's Justine Baltazar, National University's Dave Ildefonso, and 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto.

"Sa akin naman, I think lahat ng (amateur) na kasama dyan needs to be part of the team," he shared. "I saw an interview that they want to mix and match amateurs with pros, but it's way better na amateurs be in front right now. You know, like the saying goes, 'the kids are the future.'"

The SBP is yet to decide on final plans for Gilas in the 2019 SEA Games, but reportedly, it is leaning towards fielding a national team composed of pros and amateurs alike.

For the 22-year-old UP stud, though, the youngsters are only ready and raring to make their country proud. "Hopefully, they could help us amateurs be in the spotlight by representing the country," he said.

Still, whatever happens, Paras made it clear that he will, and will always, support the Philippines. As he put it, "Hopefully, yun yung mangyari, but whatever they choose, para sa bayan naman e."

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