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Kobe Paras back in Manila, looks forward to next chapter in US career

Kobe Paras with the author. | Photo courtesy of Rick Olivares

MANILA, Philippines – Kobe Paras is in Manila for two weeks of relaxation and well, catching up with family and friends.

“It has been two years since I was home and I think I need this,” said Paras, who caught the match between the De La Salle Green Archers and the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup.

“It’s my first break so I am making the most out of it. I am sitting out next season as I am serving my residency for Cal State Northridge,” he added.

The six-foot-six Paras talked about the adversity he faced during his freshman year at Creighton where he mostly sat on the bench.

“All this time studying and living in the United State, I learned a lot of things about myself. I realized that not everything is going to go your way. But you battle through adversity. I prayed over the decision to come home or stay in the US and I think it was staying there. And I believe it is a good decision. If the path or the goal is the NBA then I have to stay on that path. I have no regrets about leaving the Philippines to try my luck in the US. You really have to try. And of course, I shouldn’t be content with what I have because I have to get better at everything," explained Paras.

While in Manila, Paras earned a reputation as a dunker. In the United States, he had to work on all facets of his game.

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“When I talked about handling adversity, it was also improving my game. Maybe I wasn’t good enough to play a lot so now since I am serving out my residency, I am working on my dribbling, rebounding, and defense,” he continued.

 Paras admitted that he was also excited to learn and play for Cal State Northridge coach Reggie Theus. “I knew who he was and I think it’s cool that I get to learn and play for a coach who played in the NBA (for the Chicago Bulls) and was a legitimate star. Plus, he plays the same position as me—guard—so I can’t wait to learn.”

Living in the US, Paras, who can cook, had to learn more things. “I love to cook but you can’t keep cooking the same kinds of food. So I try to learn—watch some shows on television and see if I can cook them. I’m no chef though. Yet!”

"It's all about learning and having the right attitude."

While waiting for the match between DLSU and LPU, Paras also caught up with some college hoopsters and former teammates in various youth teams—Dave Wilson Yu of National University and Dawn Ochea of Adamson. He also had a brief chat with NU coach Jamike Jarin.

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