TWENTY-seven years after his father steered State University to its first and only UAAP men’s basketball championship in the modern era, is Andre Paras bound to wear the same college uniform?
The scenario became a possibility after University of the Philippines expressed interest in acquiring the eldest son of the PBA's only player to win an MVP on his rookie year, Benjie Paras.
A source said the young Paras, who played out his final year with La Salle Greenhills in the NCAA juniors tournament last season, already attended one of the practices of the Maroons, a team that has not come close to replicating the success it had during the college years of the `Tower of Power’ in the mid-80s.
Handled by the mercurial coach Joe Lipa, Paras stood at the forefront of that UP Maroons team that won the 1986 UAAP championship against University of the East.
From college, Paras went on to have a storied basketball career, capped by him becoming the only PBA player to win both the Rookie of the Year and MVP honors during the same season back in 1989.
The younger Paras doesn’t exactly possess the same eye-popping numbers his father had during his high school years at San Beda as he averaged modest figures of 5.4 points, five rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 14.3 minutes of play during his stint with the Junior Blazers last year.
But with the Maroons bound to lose eight key players led by top gunner Mike Silungan, the team definitely needs all the help it can get.
In a previous interview, UP head coach Ricky Dandan said they are still eyeing three more recruits to beef up their roster mostly composed of young players.
Paras was an assistant to Ronnie Magsanoc at San Beda until his longtime teammate resigned after leading the Red Lions to a third successive NCAA title last season.