LA Salle Greenhills lost to San Beda in Game One of the NCAA juniors’ basketball finals, but Kobe Paras gave the Greenies' fans something to cheer about with the day’s highlight play.
Flashing his leaping ability and athleticism, the 16-year-old Greenies star drove toward the baseline from the left side late in the third quarter, blew by Lance Abude, before posterizing Niko Abatayo with a one-handed slam.
“Normal na sa akin na pag-da-drive, kailangan aggressive lagi. So nung nakita ko yung lane, sinabi ko na lang na i-du-dunk ko,” the 6-foot-4 Paras said in a chat with Spin.ph after the game.
Paras, son of former PBA Rookie-MVP Benjie, added to his collection of dunks after dunking on LeBron James in a shootaround during the Miami Heat superstar’s visit in the country, and ruling the dunk contest of Fiba 3x3 Under-18 Championship last September in Jakarta.
“Tsaka live rin, daming nanonood,” Paras added of his decision to dunk the ball before adoring fans at the packed MOA Arena. “Tsaka para makita nila na aggressive ako.”
His dunk provided the inspiration in a second-half fightback that enabled the Greenies to close within five points in the endgame, but the powerhouse Red Cubs held their ground to hack out a 79-68 victory.
Paras, however, isn't giving up the fight against the thrice-to-beat Red Cubs.
“Binigay ko naman lahat pati yung team binigay lahat. Malas lang na 'yung shots namin hindi pumapasok sa dulo. Sa next game na lang babawi ko,” said the LSGH forward, who finished the game with 11 points.
Still, Paras is sticking to the positives as the Greenies kept the score close this time after surrendering blowout decisions to the Red Cubs in two games in the elimination round.
“Syempre nagbibigay sa amin ‘to ng confidence kasi dikit lang yung laban.”