Kobe Paras, three other rising stars banner PH U18 team to Fiba Asia championship
Paul Desiderio, Radge Tongco, Kobe Paras, Richard Escoto will be flying the flag for the Philippine Under-18 team. Photos by Jerome Ascaño and Eldridge Balmaceda

KOBE Paras along with three players from the Under-17 team bound for the world championship will lead the Philippine squad in the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar.

Paras will be joined by Jollo Go of Hope Christian High School, Richard Escoto of Far Eastern University, and Paul Desiderio of Cebu in the Asian championship from August 19 to 28.

Also joining the squad are Ateneo’s Aaron Black, San Beda’s Andre Caracut and Radge Tongco, National University’s Manuel Mosqueda, Dave Yu, and Mark Dyke, FEU-Diliman’s Rey Biennes, and Leonard Santillan of University of Visayas.

National youth head coach Jamike Jarin said the Under-18 squad has been holding practices and also had a chance to play against the Athletes In Action (AIA) squad last Sunday together with the Under-17 team, which leaves for Dubai on Wednesday for the Fiba U17 World Championship.

“I was more impressed with the Under-18 team with the way they handled their opponents,” Jarin declared.

Paras recently joined the Under-18 team after being given the clearance by his high school LA Cathedral in the United States to play for the national youth team.

The Philippines is grouped with reigning first runner-up South Korea and Jordan in Group B.

The Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship will push through in Doha after Qatar's basketball federation that it will no longer host the event.

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