Paras, Gilas Pilipinas, ready to lay it all on the line versus Thailand

Gilas Pilipinas forward Kobe Paras is dedicating the games versus Thailand in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers to his countrymen. (FIBA photo)

Kobe Paras and the rest of the Gilas Pilipinas go to battle against Thailand on Friday in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain.

The game’s tip-off is at 9 p.m. Philippine time with this young iteration of the men’s national basketball team looking to improve its 1-0 (win-loss) standing in the second window of the qualifiers.

Paras, the son of former PBA Rookie of the Year-Most Valuable Player Benjie Paras, says that as great as making highlight plays are, he just wants to do whatever he can to help the Gilas come away with victories in this two-game set against a 10-man Thailand squad.

"I don't want to be just the highlight player. I want to be the player who makes the pass for the highlight," shared the University of the Philippines standout in a talk on SportsPage. "I want to be the player who rebounds, who cheers from the bench. I want to be an all-around player."

The 23-year old certainly has electrified in his previous stints with the national team but this time, he’s just keen on doing his part to help the Gilas and hopefully, bring hope to a country ravaged by Covid-19 and recent natural disasters.

"I don't care if people notice me or not. I just want to play the right way," relayed the 6-foot-6 high leaper. "I just want to help the country become better as a whole, and basketball is a sport that unites."

"When they watch us, they enjoy the game. When we win, it's not just us who win, it's the whole country," Paras added. "We just want to do our best, not just for us, but for the frontliners, for all the people making sacrifices." (JNP)


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