UAAP 82: Paras happy to help UP make history, still focused on Ateneo
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 27, 2019 08:36 PM
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)
ANTIPOLO - Kobe Paras' dunk inside the last minute was the punctuation mark in the pivotal push that sent the University of the Philippines to the second-seed of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament.
Paras' thunderous throwdown off of a Jun Manzo assist proved to be the backbreaker for De La Salle University and the bookend to a historic win for the Fighting Maroons.
Behind that pivotal push, State U clinched the two-seed as well as the twice-to-beat advantage it entails.
Of course, Paras was nothing but happy to have helped the Diliman-based squad make history. "It means a lot just because UP hasn't been in this situation before so I'm just really grateful na we did our best today," he said of their 9-4 record in the elimination round - already their best in the Final Four era.
They already have a playoff incentive for the first time; however, the first-year forward said they know full well they have no time to waste as still up next for them is a Round 2 meeting opposite the Blue Eagles. "La Salle put up a great fight. I just can't wait to go back to practice tomorrow and get ready for Wednesday," he said.
The good news is that heading into that much-anticipated matchup, UP has all the confidence in the world with all of Paras, Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Ricci Rivero playing their best basketball thus far. "I'm just happy that a lot of players stepped up today. Hopefully, that continues," he said.
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