Manila Doctors Hospital
July 23, 2014
This Filipino Kobe is a Batang Gilas
Just before I went under the knife to remove something from my innards, Jamike Jarin, who coaches both the Philippine Under-17 and Under-18 basketball squads or what we like to call “Batang Gilas,” texted Sportsmaryosep something of a scoop. Here’s what he sent us:
“Hi. Just got in. I want you to know first that Kobe Paras will play for the RP U-18 in Doha, Qatar.”
Of course, we couldn’t write it for The Philippine STAR because, as I’ve written in my blog prior to this one, I was scheduled for an operation to check on something alarming inside my body. So I didn’t. After rediscovering my senses amid the anesthesia injected into me, I decided to blog about it.
So yes, Kobe Paras, son of former rookie MVP winner and Dunking Donato star Benjie, will play for our Batang Gilas team plunging into action in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship set Aug. 19-28 in Doha, Qatar. Paras got the green light to play by no less than his LA Cathedral coach William Middlebrooks as well as the school. The 6-6, 16-year-old Paras is no stranger to international meets having represented the country in the FIBA-World 3×3 Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia last year. There, the high-leaping Paras won the slam dunk competition by beating highly regarded foes from the United States, Spain and China. Like father, like son.
Jarin said Kobe will provide a team not just with his athleticism but his ability to play multiple positions. He will also be the ninth member of the team as scheduling problems prevented the other players to join the Batang Gilas in the Doha joust. The other eight members of the Nationals are San Beda’s Ranbill Tongco and Andre Caracut, Ateneo’s Aaron Black, University of the Phl’s Paul Desiderio, Far Eastern U’s Richard Escoto, National U’s Mark Dyke, Hope Christian School’s Jollo Go and University of Visayas’ Leonard Santillan. Jarin hopes players like UP’s Henri Asilum, UST’s Renz Subido and Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena could make the squad.
Regardless, Kobe’s arrival is a shot in the arm for Batang Gilas.
It means the world to us basketball-crazed Filipinos.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photos courtesy of Kobe Paras and Jamike Jarin)