KOBE Paras couldn’t be more excited to start work as the Philippines chases a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I see it as an opportunity,” he said.
“I think the country's been struggling with finding the right players at the right time, because as you can see there are a lot of players that can't join specific tournaments. And this is one thing that gives our country a lot of hope.”
Paras is a shoo-in to the national 3x3 squad even as Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas with the support of Chooks-to-Go start holds 3x3 tournaments at the grassroots level to select the top 3x3 players that will join him in the squad.
One of the youngsters who has seen action in the big 3x3 tournaments, Paras is eager to help in the search for new players.
“I'm excited just because this is really new. This is great, not just for me but for other athletes because when I was young, I was given a lot of opportunities in the game of basketball. So this is a great thing that Chooks-to-Go is doing because it gives opportunities for a lot of Filipinos who look up to people like me,” he said.
The recent UP transferee was a part of the 2013 and 2015 Fiba 3x3 Under-18 World Championship teams, and was the youngest member of the 2017 Fiba 3x3 World Cup squad with Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng and JR Quinahan.
And now, Paras will be looked at as the veteran, tasked to be the squad leader.
This early, he’s welcoming the challenge with open arms.
“I think for me naman, I think I deserve this opportunity just because I was 15 when I represented the country with 3x3. So I have a good sense of the game and this is just like beach volleyball - you know when you play regular volleyball, it's different than the beach, so parang ganito rin,” he said.
“The court is different, the ball is different, so it's better na as of now, I can educate the people who are willing to represent the country.”