In a surprise to some, Andre Paras has been tearing up the hard courts of the PBA D-League with the AMA Online Education Titans.
Though undersized at the four spot, the 6-foot-4 Paras has displayed consistent intensity and hustle in three games played so far, posting norms of 18.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks. And Thursday afternoon, he notched his first career double-double with 10 points and 22 rebounds to go along with four swats.
“Honestly, I just want to help the team win no matter what happens,” the second-generation cager shared as he has taken the role of AMA’s bruiser underneath. “I trust my teammates. Once I rebound, I pass them the ball and they can set it up when they want to.
“The reason why I rebound a lot because I just want to find a way to contribute.”
However, just like in their last two games, his efforts went for naught once more as AMA fell to the second-running Team Batangas squad, 95-76. With the losses piling up, so does the frustration of not being able to pick up that win.
“Nalalamangan kami sa lapses namin,” the 21-year-old, who played one year with the UP Fighting Maroons, lamented.
“It’s frustrating for all of us.
“We give our all and do our best in defense and offense, but sometimes… That’s basketball talaga. Nagtataka na kami. We do everything but it’s not happening for us,” Paras furthered.
Even if he does his best to try and lift the Titans up, he still sees a lot of flaws in his game that is helping contribute to their opponent’s cause. One of it is his over aggressiveness on the defensive end.
“I’ve been averaging five fouls per game but I’d like to defend myself na I try my best to stop the ball,” the resident of Quezon City expressed. “If I could lessen it, it would really help a lot.”
But through all of this, he hopes that his effort on both ends of the court could inspire both his teammates and the people who follow him.
“I’m just really honored [to be here]. I’ve never really had fans when I was playing [back in UP]. I’ve always had supporters but last time I played, college pa so students,” Paras, who is also an actor, shared. “Hopefully, we can inspire the youth.
“Sana mainspire ko rin ang teammates ko. If everybody does the same hustle, I’m sure, bababa yung mga lamang and lalamang naman kami in the future.”