KOBE Paras is mighty pleased to be able to represent the country in the senior level for the first time and says he has no problems playing outside of his natural position at guard.
"Kahit ano gagawin ko para sa bayan. I’m playing for Gilas. Di ako naglalaro para sa college ko. Sabi ni coach Chot, gagawin ko naman," said Paras.
Paras, now with Cal State Northridge after a year with Creighton, has been named to the 12-man Gilas line-up set for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games next month.
In an earlier interview, Gilas head coach Chot Reyes bared that Paras may have to play 'big.'
"It’s a different feeling when you're representing the country. It’s a once in a lifetime thing so I’m happy to be a part of the roster."
At 19, Parks is the youngest member of the squad and he is eager to prove his worth.
Paras - ho has been in the States the past few years to work on his collegiate career - believes that this is his way of finally breaking out in his own.
"Masaya naman just because I have another chance to represent my country. Ilang years na ako sa States and only time na napapanood ko yung Gilas is sa TV lang," said Paras.
"At least, being a part of it na and showing the people na kaya ko na, it’s a great feeling kasi iba talaga pag narerepresent yung country," he added.
The second generation star played until his junior year of high school in the Philippines and he's delighted to team up with the players that he once looked up to. Guys like Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks, Baser Amer and Troy Rosario were already making a name for themselves in the collegiate ranks when he was still playing for La Salle Greenhills.
"Nung nandito pa ako, bata pa ako, napapanood ko silang lahat sa college. It’s a great feeling that the people I look up to, magiging teammates ko na."