It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Dapat Purihin! Kobe Paras Made a Sacrifice For Gilas Pilipinas

484

Instead of being bashed for his subpar showing, University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons forward Kobe Paras should be lauded for making a sacrifice for the Gilas Pilipinas in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

Gilas program director Tab Baldwin said Paras made a sacrifice when he switched to power forward from his usual small forward position due to the national men’s basketball team’s lack of height.

“He submitted himself to the environment. He worked extremely hard,” Baldwin said at Coaches Unfiltered. “We played him out of position because we really needed his size and strength around the basket, and he wasn’t comfortable at all so that was a burden he carried for us and never complained once.”

“I think at one point in the second game, I said, ‘Kobe, go out and play on the wing now’. And he said ‘Thank you coach, I’m dying to do that’, and with a grin on his face. We were aware that we were asking him to make an additional sacrifice playing out of position, but never a peep of him about that. Did his job. Did it at the best of his ability,” he added.

Paras was heavily bashed in the social media for his lack of offensive output in Gilas Pilipinas’ two games against Thailand at the Manama bubble.

“First time I’ve been around Kobe to work with him as a player, and you talk about pleasant surprises — Kobe’s attitude is extraordinary,” Baldwin said. “He really, really wants to be a great player — he has an extremely competitive mindset. And obviously from an athletic standpoint, he is elite.”

“He is one of the best athletes I’ve been around, but Kobe has a lot to learn about the game. And I think if you track Kobe’s development over the years, it’s always been at the standpoint of ‘come in and be the star’. So he’s always carried a huge weight of expectation, and when you add to that that Kobe can dazzle us with highlights, a lot of people get confused between highlights and actually quality basketball,” he added.

“He was frustrated he didn’t put in better performances, but as far as I was concerned, his plus minuses were good, his heart stats were always very good. He was out there working extremely hard to do a great job for the team, and Kobe to me is long-term potentially a tremendous player for our program,” he further said.