THESE are exciting times for University of the Philippines.
Current members of the UP Fighting Maroons were over the moon upon receiving the news that Kobe Paras has committed to play for the team beginning next season alongside another top recruit in Ricci Rivero.
The 6-5 Paras is the son of former PBA rookie MVP Benjie Paras, the star of the last UP team to win a UAAP championship back in 1986. The younger Paras now represents the Maroons' best chance to end that drought.
“They’re going to be a very strong team that will be capable of winning it all,” said Maroons star Paul Desiderio, a former Mythical Five member who won't be around when Paras joins the team next season.
Paul Desiderio and fellow Cesafi products Janjan Jaboneta and Jun Manzo were in Passi City, Iloilo, for an invitational tournament along with the rest of the Maroons when they heard the good news.
They were naturally ecstatic.
“First of all, Kobe will help us all next season especially with the experience that he has had playing in the United States,” said Manzo, a former standout of the University of the Visayas.
Jaboneta, a former juniors MVP of the Cesafi, said Kobe’s arrival will surely bring in a lot of excitement and energy.
“I mean, c’mon, that’s Kobe who is coming in to help the team,” said Jaboneta.