MANILA, Philippines – Kobe Paras, youngest son Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Benjie Paras, relived the Filipino spirit in his incredible dunking maneuver during the 2013 FIBA 3×3 U-18 World Championships dunk contest yesterday, September 29, 2013.
Though the PHL team didn’t make it to the last 16 in the 2013 FIBA 3×3 Basketball Under-18 World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia, the six-foot-three high school senior of La Salle Greehills player, bested Demonte Flannigan of USA and Antonio Morales of Spain in the Honda Slam Dunk competition.
Paras won the title with a total score of 117 after the three-part contest. The three cagers have to execute three dunking styles.
Kobe got a perfect 30 points during his first and second dunk where he wowed the crowd by jumping from the baseline and over his teammate, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo, who was astride a motorcycle, in his first dunk. While he nailed another perfect score in his second dunk as he overpasses two basketball players, Ravena and a dunker from Spain.
Since Demonte Flannigan failed to demonstrate his between-the-legs technique, Paras and Morales contended for the last round.
Paras, however finishes it off with an off-the-glass alley-oop which left him with 57 points and 51 points to his contender.
That made him the 2013 world’s slam dunk king.
As remembered, Kobe Paras also made a blast on July during their game with LeBron James. He was able to dunk over the 4-time MVP.
Kobe, along with Thirdy Ravena, Arvin Tolentino and Prince Rivero represent the Philippine team in the said competition.
Kobe’s father, Benjie Paras expresses his glee as his youngest son represents the country in the 2013 FIBA 3×3 U-18 World Championships along with three other players.
He said that being one of the Philippine representatives in the international scene makes you feel proud and at the same time, stirs the excitement of bringing the bacon home.
“I experienced that before when we won the gold in the Southeast Asian games in Jakarta in 1987. It makes you feel proud being a Filipino and being a member of the champion team in an international tournament,” Paras shared.
He revealed that Kobe keeps on updating him on their basketball standing and games.
He even stated that the opportunity Kobe had gives him an advantage especially that he got a chance to win at an early age.
“Dati kasi, kami mga around 18 years old kami nakakapag-start representing the country (We were 18 years old before when we started representing the country). Now, sa age group, you can represent it as early as 15 and this is a good start for Kobe (And now, based on the age group, you can start representing the country as early as 15 and this is a good start for Kobe),” he said.
Benjie disclosed that he has reminded his son to value his success and learn from it as well as to value his school because of his scholarship that allows him to study.
Raniza K. Darole
ABCom, Leyte Normal University