20 November, 2017
26 February, 2019
Kobe Paras
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Kobe Paras returns to the Philippines to focus on national team

MANILA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers) - Budding Filipino star Kobe Paras cut his US NCAA stint short, returned to the Philippines and is now focused on helping Gilas Pilipinas.

In a short video teaser that made quite some noise on social media, Paras - a second generation basketball player from Manila - announced his plans to leave California State University-Northridge - his third US NCAA school - and finally "go pro."

Wave’s World 🌊🌏 #rockstarlifestyle #twtbg #waitforthewave

A post shared by Kobe Lorenzo Forster Paras (@_kokoparas) on

"I just made the decision that I want to go pro because it's where I can live a life where I'm getting the things that I deserve," he said.

Predictably, shortly after Paras made his announcement, many of his followers thought that the high-flying 6ft 6in (1.98m) wingman would be headed to the NBA Draft 2018, but he was quick to douse these assumptions.

"When I say go pro, it doesn't necessarily mean NBA," he explained. "There's a lot of people that kept saying NBA. It is a professional league, but there's a lot of pro teams out there."

Instead, Paras was quickly summoned back home to Manila by no less than Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes. Paras, of course, heeded the call and is excited to don the country's colors anew.

"I'm going to bring energy to Gilas," Paras said. "That's what I bring to the team, and I see my teammates as brothers. I can't wait to practice with them, build a bond and hopefully, win."

Paras last played for the national team in the Southeast Asian Games 2017, where he helped the squad sweep their way to the gold medal. They are set to play at a summer league tournament in Manila before preparing for other tournaments line up in the following months like the third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers, the annual William Jones Cup in Taipei and the Asian Games 2018.