KOBE Paras is leaving the door open for a possible Gilas Pilipinas stint this year, saying it won't run in conflict with his schedule in the US NCAA as he is set to undergo a one-year residency after transfering to Cal State Northridge.
The 19-year-old basketball prodigy, though, insisted he wants to earn his spot in the national team bound for the Fiba Asia Championship in August as well as the Fiba World Cup qualifiers in November.
"This year, I'm taking a break from college basketball just because of residency. I really plan on trying out for Gilas," said Paras after Wednesday's presscon for the Chooks-Pilipinas 3x3 bound for Fiba 3x3 World Cup next month.
"I'm not the type of person who receives a call or text from a coach and plays right away," he continued. "I wanna be fair and equal opportunity with everyone so I don't really care if I'm famous enough. Mas I care to try out before to even entering the team."
Paras also bared that he has already received assurances that he can suit up for the national team without breaking US NCAA rules regarding his residency at Cal State.
"Just as long as I'm not receiving money like professionals do. So I talked to SBP and it's all good naman, there's no money involved," said the 6-6 forward, who left Creighton after one uneventful season.
"They looked at the rules of NCAA. So pwede naman akong maglaro. So there's no problems right now. It's a one year residency."
But until he gets the chance to represent the tri-color flag with the big boys, the 6-6 high-flyer said he's setting his focus on improving his skills.
"I'm just gonna keep working hard," he said.