UP's bonds will only get stronger now Paras has debuted in UAAP Season 82
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 15, 2019 10:48 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
Kobe Paras took a little longer to make his debut for the University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball Tournament, but he finally did so, Sunday at MOA Arena.
And in just his first game for the Fighting Maroons, Paras made an immediate impact, dropping 20 points on top of six rebounds and two blocks.
Most importantly, his assist led to Javi Gomez de Liano's three that forced overtime and his short stab was part of the 8-0 finishing kick that eventually ended as a bounce back win.
Of course, head coach Bo Perasol only welcomed the 6-foot-6 forward with open arms. "It's a great catalyst that we have Kobe here not just for his offense, but his presence inside. It gives inspiration to his teammates," he told reporters in the post-game conference.
For his part, Paras is just glad to be able to take the floor once more. "I'm happy. I'm really happy. As everyone knows, this is my fourth college so I'm just thankful for coach Bo and the whole UP community for giving me, basically, a third chance not just in basketball, but in life," he said.
After a short stint as a promising prospect for La Salle Green Hills, the son of Philippine basketball legend Benjie Paras first committed to UCLA before transferring to Creighton.
Paras suited up for one season as a Bluejay before relocating again to Cal State Northridge, but never played a game there.
Now he has debuted - and has triumphed in his debut - the 21-year-old is only looking forward to strengthening his bonds with his teammates. "The win helps us to build our chemistry because you know that his is a new team. A lot of people think it's easy to just have a group of players come in and produce, but it's hard," he shared.
He then continued, "I'm just glad we have games like this because it brings us together."
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.