Kyle Paranada may just be 5-foot-9 in height, but his confidence says otherwise.
After endless heartbreaks back in UAAP Season 84 that saw his University of the East go winless in 14 games and up to losing their first game in Season 85 against National University, the Filipino-American out of San Diego, California has seen it all but win.
And on Wednesday at PhilSports Arena, Paranada led the Red Warriors to their first win in the UAAP since 2019, shocking Far Eastern University, 76-66.
“It was a good game. At least ‘yung instruction almost nagawa, mayroon lang kaming lapses down the stretch,” said UE head coach Jack Santiago after the morale-boosting victory.
“Bottomline, the game plan was followed and I thank my boys especially si Kyle na nandito ngayon,” added the coach, commending Paranada who drained big shots when the Tamaraws were trying to come back.
Paranada never lost faith in his shot, despite the disastrous campaign UE had last season.
In fact, in the Red Warriors’ first five matches there, he was fielded less than five minutes in four of those.
In those four games, the sharpshooter was held to averages of 0.5 points and 12.5 percent from the field without making a single three-pointer.
But when Paranada was given floor time of more than 10 minutes, he was often at the top of the stat sheet with averages of 11.1 points, 34.7 percent from the field, and he made 21 triples.
“My whole life. When I was younger I always try to ball with confidence, you’re supposed to shoot with confidence,” said the streaky shooter.
“Everyday shooting, see the ball go in and that builds up confidence.”
With their first taste of UAAP victory, Paranada and the rest of the Red Warriors have no plans of stopping at win no. 1.
“Like I said, it was really good our first win in two seasons. It’s just gonna give us momentum for the next games. The past is the past we just think about the future.”