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

Kobe Paras downplays pressure on much-awaited debut game

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All eyes were glued on Kobe Paras’ much-anticipated debut game against Adamson Soaring Falcons, despite the fact that he had to delay it for two games due to ankle sprain.

Well, it was definitely worth the wait for the UP community.

The second-generation talent put up a solid output for himself with 20 points, six rebounds, and two blocks.

What mattered most is that the Fighting Maroons broke away with an 83-82 overtime win.

“This win just helps us to build our chemistry. You guys know that this is a new team. A lot of people think it’s easy to just have a group of players come in and produce but it’s hard,” said the newcomer Paras.

Of course, the 22-year-old Paras knows that there is a lot of pressure for him heading into his first UAAP experience, but this is how he addressed that issue to the press.

“I mean, it’s you guys that’s why we have the hype. But it’s basketball. I’ve been doing this ever since. It’s just the game that I love, I’m trying to be passionate about the game,” Paras explained.

Paras also shared some of his struggles right after his failed stint in the US, and how UP accepted him as part of the rebuilding process.

“Because when I was in the States, I didn’t really get to play in college, and it really hurts. A lot of people think it’s easy being alone in the States. I had to go through a lot of mental issues. I think that’s one thing that people really need to understand,” Paras shared.

“I had to face adversity every single day alone but I’m just grateful, like what I said earlier, for the opportunity that UP’s given to me. Of course, those high-caliber schools were also in the mix but I just wanted to start fresh in a school that really has nothing.”

“I don’t see pressure as pressure. I’m just really blessed I’m given a third chance in college basketball and that’s rare. For a lot of these student-athletes, they know how it feels. Some of them know how it feels to try and try and try and not get the chance. I’m just blessed.”

Paras is just simply grateful for the chance that UP gave to him — just like what the school did to his father, Benjie, as well.

“I’m happy, I’m really happy. As everyone knows here, this is my fourth college so I’m just thankful for coach Bo and the whole UP community for giving me basically a third chance not just in basketball but in life,” Paras stated.

Welcome to UAAP, Kobe!