Kobe Paras hopes to see amateurs at the forefront of SEA Games campaign
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) September 21, 2019
ANTIPOLO—With his sight set toward the future, Kobe Paras thinks it would be best if all non-PBA standouts part of the Southeast Asian Games training pool would be included in the Philippine team’s final lineup for the regional meet.
Paras, the University of the Philippines star, is just one of eight amateurs part of the list the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas submitted.
Also included are Paras’ teammates Juan Gomez de Liaño and Ricci Rivero, teen sensation Kai Sotto, Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go, La Salle’s Justin Baltazar and National University’s Dave Ildefonso.
“I’m just really happy. As you guys know, I was the youngest last time when we represented the SEA Games so hopefully, I get another chance by the SBP and whoever the head coach is because you know representing the country is just one thing I love to do,” Paras said after notching a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help UP hold off University of the East, 62-56, in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday.
“I love just to represent the name in the front and not at the back and hopefully, by the 30th we may know who is part of the team.”
“For me, I think all the collegiate [players on the pool] need to be part of the team because I saw in the interview that they want to like mix and match the pros and amateurs but I think it’s way better that we put the amateurs in front right now because like the saying, the kids are our future and I hope they can help us amateurs be in the spotlight and to represent the country because it’s once in a lifetime so hopefully, that’s what happens but whatever they choose, whoever they choose it’s for the country.”
Paras won a gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a 19-year-old teamed up with the likes of Kiefer Ravena and Christian Standhardinger.
Standhardinger, the Fil-German big man, along with Stanley Pringle had also been mentioned by SBP president Al Panlilio to be included in the pool.
Tim Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history, is the SBP’s top choice to call the shots for the national team in the SEA Games, which will be held in the country.
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