Back in 1987, Benjie Paras was an elated 19-year-old Filipino cager. He had every reason to celebrate though, as he had helped the Philippines bag one of their many gold medals in men’s basketball in the Southeast Asian Games.
Three decades later, another Paras bagged a SEA Games basketball gold — Benjie’s son, Kobe, who served as a huge boost for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 edition of the regional meet, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
And for Benjie, now 48, he could not be prouder of his son, for being able to replicate one of his achievements in his illustrious 14-year career.
“Masaya of course na nagkaroon ng legacy yung Paras clan,” said the PBA legend to Tiebreaker Times, after the Chooks-to-Go-hosted homecoming lunch for Gilas and Nikko Huelgas, Thursday at the Marco Polo Ortigas in Pasig.
Even the 19-year-old sensation, who will fly back to the United States tonight to continue his studies at Cal State-Northridge, could attest to how proud his dad was after learning that he had won his own SEA Games gold medal.
“Nung nanalo kami sa Indonesia, my dad called me right away. Nagbiro siya na (expletive), may medal na tayong gold,” shared Kobe with a grin.
“It just feels good na nagawa ko yung nagawa niya noong age ko dati.”
Clearly, the dad-and-son tandem are now SEAG champions. But for Benjie, he still hopes that his son can emulate some other achievements from his heydays. His wish, for now, is to see Kobe play in the 2018 Asian Games.
“Hopefully if ever he’s going to play in the Asian Games next year, [that would be] exactly (28) years also that we won the silver,” said the only PBA Rookie-MVP, recalling the 1990 Asiad in Beijing where hosts China won the gold.