WHILE serving a one-year residency at Cal State Northridge, Kobe Paras is making the most of his free time by joining the national team pool from which Gilas coach Chot Reyes will form a team for the Southeast Games and Fiba Asia Cup.
There is no clear timetable yet for Paras, but the prodigious son of former PBA rookie-MVP Benjie vowed to join the rest of the Gilas cadets in practice after his stint in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup in Nantes, France in the middle of the month.
Gilas begins practice on June 20 for the tournament in Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia.
"It depends talaga sa schedule ko and whatever gusto ni Coach Chot because it's not up to us players. So whatever Coach Chot makes us join or do, susunurin ko na lang," Paras said.
Paras bared he is excited to represent the country with Gilas cadets like Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Mike Tolomia, Ed Daquioag, RR Pogoy, and Kevin Ferrer.
"Oh I was excited, just because ever since I was a kid, I was watching them, parang sila idol Calvin (Abueva). Nakikita ko talaga. Parang yung last na Fiba Asia na nag-host tayo (in 2013), I was watching every game just because the atmosphere and just the players, I looked up to everyone of those guys," he said.
"So I'm just happy to be a part of it. All the hard work and everything, I put it in. Kasi I started representing the country when I was 15, and I think it's time na talaga na kaya kong i-represent at a higher level."
But while it's a dream come true for him, the 6-5 prodigy is also making sure his focus now is on the Chooks-Pilipinas 3x3 team that will lock horns with powerhouse squads in the June 17-21 showpiece.
He will be teaming up with Ravena, Jeron Teng, and NLEX bruiser JR Quiñahan in the June 17-21 showcase where the Philippines will be pitted against host country, Slovenia, Romania, and El Salvador in the group stage.