The son of the former “Tower of Power” proved to be just as promising.
Showcasing his high-flying act on the world stage, Kobe Paras bagged the slam dunk crown in the side event of the Fiba 3×3 Under-18 World Championship Sunday night in Jakarta.
Paras, the 16-year-old son of former PBA superstar Benjie Paras, beat out 6-foot-7 Antonio Morales of Spain and 6-5 Demonte Flannigan of the United States in the final round where he soared over a teammate on a motorcycle for a one-handed jam.
His feat came just as the other under-16 national team secured a quarterfinal berth in the Fiba Asia U16 Championship in Tehran, Iran.
The 6-foot-5 Paras, whose father is the only Rookie and MVP awardee on the same year in the PBA, had earlier teamed up with Thirdy Ravena, Arvin Tolentino and Prince Rivero to capture the Fiba Asia 3×3 championship last May.
Paras and Co. continued their surprise run in the Worlds with a 3-0 start, before bowing to big guns like USA and China in a four-game skid.
Meanwhile, the U16 national team secured a slot in the knockout quarterfinal stage even before playing its last second-round match versus India Monday night.
The U16 boys, who have been leaning on the consistent games of Michael Nieto and Paul Desiderio, stood tied for second with Japan at 3-1 behind Chinese Taipei’s perfect 4-0 slate in Group F.
Defending champion China also remained unbeaten in four games in Group E.
After a thrilling escape over Kazakhstan (90-88), the Philippines fell to Chinese Taipei (90-95) but recovered by routing Japan (94-76) and Jordan (73-60). Jasmine W. Payo