Kobe Paras heads home, commits to Gilas program
As far as Gilas Pilipinas is concerned, Kobe Paras is here to stay.
National team manager Butch Antonio guaranteed that the high-flying 20-year-old will play for the Gilas cadets squad seeing action in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.
“I’m in touch with Benjie (Paras) and we’re talking regarding the possibility,” he said.
The younger Paras earlier announced his decision to leave the confines of Cal State Northridge, saying he’s “turning pro.”
But with opportunity of helping the country opening up, Antonio said that the popular swingman has committed to the national team.
“Kobe will be basing himself in the Philippines in the meantime, and I’m very thankful and glad that Kobe is very committed to the Gilas program. He’s very important and he’s gonna play a major role,” he said.
Paras has expressed his willingness to join the early buildup of the cadet team in the summer tournament, where he join players in coach Chot Reyes’ “23-for-2023” list.
Reyes thinks it’s a great chance for Paras to finally see action in a more consistent basis, after playing sparingly during his collegiate career in the United States.
“On the contrary, he should look forward to coming home and finally playing. We’re fine if he’s not here, the program is still going to continue,” he said.
“He should look forward to playing because I made that statement that there’s no Filipino player whoever went to the US NCAA and came back a better player because the operative word was playing. If you go to the US and sit, you’re not going to get better,” he said. “I hope Kobe should be looking forward to coming home and playing, getting a chance to finally actually playing on the court. He should be looking forward to that.”