Andre Paras delivers solid numbers in debut, admits still finding his way
Pressure was Andre Paras’ foe on Tuesday when he made his debut for AMA Online Education in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
Playing in a competitive setting for the first time since treading the waters of San Beda’s Team B, the second-generation baller’s nerves were rattled with dad Benjie and brother Kobe in attendance at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Their presence, though, also gave him a boost.
“I was surprised that they were there,” he said. “They’re my idols. When I see those guys, I get inspired because they’re the ones who inspired me to play.”
Though playing undersized at just 6-foot-3, Paras made a good account of himself finishing with five points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, and three assists in 34 minutes in his first game with the Titans.
Those contributions were largely felt on the defensive end as he showed shades of how his father did back in his hey-day.
“I really relied to help my team on defense because I believe defense wins games. I just let the game come to me and if open, take the shot,” he said.
Unfortunately, those efforts went to waste as Cignal HD dealt AMA an 86-76 drubbing, sending the latter to a 0-2 hole.
Still, there’s reason for optimism in the Titans camp with the 21-year-old Paras’ standout showing.
But the former La Salle Greenhills standout knows that a one-game sample size is not enough reason to draw any conclusions, believing he has a lot to work on to get to the level he aspires for.
“Honestly, I’m aware that my size is average here so I can’t rely on that. Age is also a big matter here, so we really have to be physically prepared. I know I have to work on my outside game more, because at this moment, you can’t really go out against stronger and bigger guys. I’m still finding my way. But least now, I know what I have to work on but also what we need to work on as a team,” he said.
Paras also bared that he’s putting his showbiz career on the back burner for the meantime as he focuses on his budding basketball career.
“As of now, I’m not doing anything big with work. The network is also lenient and supportive with me because I do love doing both (basketball and showbiz). There’s no conflict and we’re flexible,” he said.
So, will the PBA be the next stop for the young Paras? He said that he’s keeping his fingers crossed but maintains that he’s open for anything that may come along the way.
“Right now, what I’m really chasing more is I want to help the team win. (Going to the PBA) is my dream and I would love to go in the PBA, but we’ll see. No one’s here to just play around,” he said.
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