De La Salle University (DLSU) has much to cheer for with the arrival of former La Salle Greenhills (LSGH) standout, Kobe Paras, who will be eligible to suit up for the Green Archers in UAAP season 79.
Paras, who is the son of PBA legend Benjie Paras, is currently playing for Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, California after transferring from LSGH over a year ago. With his stellar play, he was able to attract attention from several NCAA Division I schools, with UCLA eventually earning his verbal commitment.
But in a sudden turn of events, Paras announced that he will be taking his high-flying act back to the Philippines for college in 2016. He will join a young but talented Green Archers squad which by then, will still be led by graduating King Archer Jeron Teng.
“It’s been a weird journey. I wasn’t sure on where I was going for the past months. But my path is clear now. #IBleedGreen,” says Paras on his Twitter account.
Father and Son tandem
A lot of fans and supporters speculated that his impending move had something to do with his father’s appointment as an assistant in the Green Archer’s coaching staff. This would create a potential father and son tandem, which could bring out the best in the younger Paras and in La Salle’s other big men.
Also, with Teng in his final year of eligibility at that time, this would give the former LSGH standout the opportunity to take the reigns as the main man of his own team, an option that won’t be available to him if he pushed through with his plan of playing with the powerhouse Bruins.
“I just kinda realized that going to UCLA may not be the best move, career wise. With a lot of strong recruits in my class, I might not get the needed exposure. My goal is to reach the NBA someday, and I think going back to La Salle can get me there,” he mentions in an online interview with The LaSallian.
After being eliminated early during UAAP Season 77’s semifinals matchup against the FEU Tamaraws, the Green Archers are looking to be a powerhouse for the coming seasons as a lot of big names have already committed to play for La Salle.
Batang Gilas standout Jollo Go, NCAA Jr.’s Finals MVP Andrei Caracut, San Sebastian Junior Stags star Lorenzo Navarro, NU Bullpups standout Mark Dyke, and LSGH big man John Gob are just some of the big names that La Salle has recruited over the course of the offseason. With the addition of Paras in the lineup, the DLSU Green Archers will surely be in the spotlight for the next couple of years.
“It was a huge embarrassment for us last time (losing to FEU in the semifinals). Hopefully this coming season would be different. I see a lot of potential in these players, even more so than the one I handled when I was a rookie coach. Hopefully we’ll get it done,” says Green Archers head coach Juno Sauler as he expressedhis excitement over his incoming
Players aren’t the only ones that La Salle has recruited as adding a PBA Hall of Famer in Paras to their coaching staff may be the most vital move DLSU made during the offseason. “Well, there’s nothing more I could say. That’s Benjie Paras. And we have him now in La Salle. He’ll surely make a difference”, says Sauler.
With a new dimension to his game, he is no longer the kid known for his athletic prowess. At 6’7 with advanced guard skills and incredible athleticism, he is a walking mismatch against whichever team he faces. His current situation is similar to that of former UAAP MVP Bobby Parks, who came back to the Philippines after a storied high school career in Memphis.
Much like Parks, expect the younger Paras to take the UAAP by storm when he enters the league. With him leading the way, DLSU will be among the favorites to win it all come 2016, assuming he doesn’t change his mind by then.