Kobe Paras relishes representing Philippines
Thirty years ago, Benjie Paras proudly trotted out his gold medal after leading the Philippines to the championship in the men’s basketball competition in the 1987 Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta.
Fast forward to today. It’s now his son Kobe’s turn to wear the gold around his neck for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The younger Paras said he’s honored to have achieved something his dad has also done.
“It feels good. When we won against Indonesia, my dad called me right away and joked that we both won gold. It just feels good that I was able to do something he has done at this age,” the young prodigy said.
Kobe and Benjie were both 19 when they won the gold in the biennial meet, making the parallelism more interesting for the father-and-son tandem.
The 6-foot-6 swingman, though, is just glad to finally have the opportunity to don the national colors and represent the country in five-on-five competition after years of strutting his stuff in the 3×3 scene.
“I’m really happy because I was telling ever since that I want to play five-on-five. I was given the chance and I really made the most of it. I just hope that I made the Filipinos proud,” he said.
The younger Paras now embarks on a new journey with Cal State Northridge as he reboots his collegiate career in the United States.
“When I go to the States, it’s strictly business. It’s not like here that I’m fighting for our country. There, I’ll play for myself and the future,” he said. “I love my teammates, I love everyone, and I can’t wait to get back there.”