UAAP 82: Kobe Paras hopeful that in UP, third time's indeed the charm

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 02, 2019 02:32 PM
Kobe Paras hopeful that in UP, third time's indeed the charm
Kobe Paras is ready and raring to bring some sort of attitude to emerging power UP (Photo courtesy of UP Men's Basketball Team)

At long last, flight Kobe Paras is all set for take-off once more on Philippine soil.

Paras is just two days away from making his debut for the University of the Philippines in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament and, of course, the son of Philippine basketball legend Benjie Paras is nothing but eager to finally spread his wings in front of his kababayans.

"I'm excited. I haven't been part of a big tournament in a while," he shared. "I'm just glad that God basically gave me a third chance in life and in basketball."

After a short stint as a promising prospect for La Salle Green Hills, Paras took his talents to the US NCAA. The 6-foot-6 forward first committed to UCLA before transferring to Creighton.

He suited up for one season as a Bluejay before relocating again to Cal State Northridge, but never played a game there.

Now, Paras is back in the Philippines, set to see action for the very same Fighting Maroons his dad once lifted to their first and only championship.

And his mission is quite clear for the now-21-year-old. As he put it, "I'm glad that I gained the trust of Coach Bo [Perasol]. At the same time, I'm not doing this for me, but for the team."

He then continued, "I just wanna do my part to help the team improve."

For State U, improving actually means building on its surprising runner-up finish a year ago.

Only, Paul Desiderio, the heart and soul of that Cinderella run is no longer in Diliman.

Make no mistake, however, Paras is not the ready-made replacement for that school legend. "I never think of filling anyone's shoes. Paul left his own legacy and I'm just trying to play my own game and be there for my teammates," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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