Andre Paras was one of the first applicants who entered the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft in early January.
But that was not the initial plan of the 6-foot-5 cager.
University of the Philippines head coach Bo Perasol revealed to Tiebreaker Times that Andre was supposed to have one last shot at glory in the collegiate scene, with a chance to play with brother Kobe had UAAP Season 83 pushed through.
“Oo, kasama siya talaga dapat sa UP.
“Kung titignan mo, kung ang season by supposedly dapat March or April, eligible pa siya kasi graduate na siya. So may one year pa dapat siya and mag-25 pa lang siya sa November. Pasok pa talaga siya,” Perasol said.
Coming off a stellar high school career in La Salle Green Hills, Paras suited up for the Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 76. During his rookie year, he only logged 42 minutes and played just eight games.
He decided to transfer to San Beda, but did not line up for the Red Lions in NCAA Season 91.
A year later, Paras decided to focus on his acting career while studying and playing for AMA Online Education.
With AMA, he was able to become a tenacious rebounder when he played in the D-League and NAASCU.
Prior to the pandemic, Paras was already training with UP. He was supposed to take a master’s degree during the first semester to make him eligible for the UAAP, which was initially supposed to be played during the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2021.
That plan has been nixed with the cancellation of Season 83.
“Andre really wanted to play with Kobe,” lamented Perasol.