Andre to prove he has the game—not just the name—to be in PBA
He may have one of the most recognizable names in Philippine basketball, but Andre Paras vows to repay that trust the Blackwater franchise has put on him and make a name for himself.
“I can promise my guys—my teammates, bosses—that they made the right decision. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. I’m your guy,” said Paras in an appearance on Mile BEST Center’s web show over the weekend.
Paras, the eldest son of PBA great Benjie, was selected 27th overall by the Bossing (formerly Elite) during the recent Rookie Draft.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know I’d be drafted because a lot of players who applied in the draft are well-known,” the 23-year-old big man said. Andre is also well-known, as he has also dabbled in show business before rededicating himself to the game.
His father Benjie, became the first and only Rookie of the Year-Most Valuable Player before he went into showbiz.
In the 6-foot-4 Paras, Blackwater finally infuses much-needed youth into its front line. The Bossing selected 36-year-old Maurice Shaw No. 2 overall last season.
However, a recurring back problem shelved him for the Philippine Cup that had the club turning to seldom-used Frank Golla and Marion Magat.
Paras, a fixture in many amateur basketball camps owing to his surname, said his journey has made him a tougher, if not better, basketball player.
“All that I’ve been through—SBP, Passerelle, even the NCAA to the UAAP—it all led to that moment because we all train hard, trained at a young age, developed as the best versions of ourselves so we could showcase that in the pro league,” he said.
Paras’ boundless energy was evident during his stint in the D-League, where he suited up for AMA in 2017. There, he figured as a rebounding machine.
His reputation even piqued the interest of Barangay Ginebra’s multititled coach Tim Cone.
“Andre is one guy we really looked at and really thought about. The kid is really driven especially off the boards. Rebounders always excite me. I always get excited about having rebounders on the team. I think they’re very hard to groom. Rebounders are more natural,” Cone said on a different TV show.
Ginebra, however, was unable to snare Paras, as the club already used its two selections in succession earlier in the proceedings.
“[The PBA is] where everyone wants to go. And just being able to reach that dream—that alone has [affected] change [in] me. I can’t wait to continue,” Paras said of his journey.
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