Kobe Paras lead the University of the Philippines Fighting maroons on its third win, defeating National University in an 80-79 neck and neck fight in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
UP’s recent victory was their second win in a row bringing their record to 3-1.
Meanwhile, National University Bulldogs fell into a 0-4 tournament record, making them the only winless team in UAAP season 82.
Kobe contributed 25 points on 10-of-22 shooting, along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists in his second game for the UP Fighting Maroons.
Maroon’s center Bright Akhuetie had 19 points and 12 rebounds.
UP head coach Bo Perasol said, “We need to learn how to close out games together as a team. That’s a process.”
“We’ve got three close games already, and I think we are smart enough, we are wise enough. We have to learn how to close it out, because the fact of that is, I know we can,” Perasol said. “I know we can.”
Kobe Paras happy for a second chance in life and basketball
The son of basketball player turned celebrity Benjie Paras said, “I’m just happy to be given another chance in life and basketball.”
Kobe Lorenzo Forster Paras who is also celebrating his birthday today first made headlines when he was recruited to play in the United States at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) but did not continue when the university determined he did not meet the academic requirements.
He then played for the Creighton Bluejays in 2016–17 before transferring to Cal State Northridge but never played a game for the Matadors. Paras went back to the Philippines in July 2018 to play for the UP Fighting Maroons.
Kobe Paras is just grateful to be able to play in the UAAP after all the setbacks. “This is my fourth college, so I’m just happy that God gave me another chance, not just in basketball but in life,” he shared in an interview.
“I’m just happy I’m playing with my teammates I consider as brothers and getting coached by these coaches every day,” he added.
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