Excitement filled the air at the Meralco Gym, Wednesday evening when the 23 for 2023 Gilas Pilipinas cadets got word that Kobe Paras is set to join them for the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.
Because of the negotiations between team backer Chooks-to-Go, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, and the Paras camp, the 20-year-old will arrive this weekend. It won’t be a one-off thing however.
If Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio was to be asked, he feels that the second generation will stay home for the next few years after a turbulent four years in the States.
“Everybody’s excited and anxious for Kobe’s return. He’s been committed to our program, to SBP in general and even our 3×3,” shared Antonio. “So we anticipate excitement when he comes back. We’ll see how we can progress from now because it looks like Kobe’s here to stay.
“We’d like to know what his plans are.”
Back in 2014, Paras pursued his studies in the States, attending Cathedral High School in Los Angeles. He played for the Middlebrooks Academy prep team in his final year.
At first, the 6-foot-6 swingman made a commitment to University of California, Los Angeles but had to withdraw from the school and transfer to Creighton.
In his only year for the Bluejays, he totaled 20 points and 15 rebounds in 70 total minutes on the floor.
In May of 2017, he decided to transfer to Cal State Northridge. He left a year later due to the firing of head coach Reggie Theus.
With this, Antonio disclosed that the only thing certain is that he is committed to the program.
“I think he is staying here for good,” Antonio reiterated. “I’ve been in touch with Benjie [Paras]. I’ve been trying to see what his schedule is lalo na that he’s coming. I think he’s here to stay. Up to what his plans are I’m not really sure.
“At least I’m confident of their commitment sa Gilas.”
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