Kobe will play for Team Philippines all because of Kiefer

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THE REASON. Apparently, it was Kiefer Ravena who recruited Kobe Paras to play for the Philippines in the 2017 FIBA 3X3 World Cup.

Kobe Paras will be wearing the flag for the first time in a long time in the upcoming 2017 FIBA 3X3 World Cup.

And it was his teammate who made it all happen.

“I was just with Kiefer, working out, and he told me about 3X3,” the six-foot-six US prospect shared with reporters in the national team’s press conference on Wednesday at the Discovery Suites in Ortigas.

He then continued, “We then got in contact with coach E and that’s how it all started.”

As it turns out, Kiefer Ravena is also a phenom when it comes to recruitment.

Asked about what Paras shared, he answered, “Totoo yun. Papunta kasi kaming gym tapos sakto nag-text sa akin si coach and we were discussing who else to get kasi ang naka-commit pa lang si Jeron (Teng) and I. So sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Kobes, diba you’ll redshirt pa? Gusto mo laro ka muna (3X3)?’”

Paras, who had just transferred from Creighton to Cal State Northridge, will have to sit out one season before being eligible to play.

That is exactly why, according to Ravena, the feedback he got was nothing but positive. As he put it, “Sabi niya, tignan namin. Eventually, pinagbigyan din siya. That’s how this all started.”

Now, the Philippines has assembled what could be considered a dream team with a US prospect in Paras, a two-time UAAP MVP in Ravena, a multiple time champion in Teng, and a seasoned veteran in JR Quinahan.

Guiding them will be a man who knows a thing or two about all of them – as well as their fathers. Talking about coach Eric Altamirano, Ravena said, “I think si coach E, na-handle niya yung dad ko [Bong Ravena] tsaka si tito Alvin (Teng). Tapos he played together with tito Benjie (Paras) so I guess, ‘di na siya nahirapan i-handle yung second generation.”

He then continued, “Sabi lang niya sa amin, mag-enjoy kami kasi this is a rare chance for us to be together. Minsan lang kami magsama-sama for the country so we have to make the most out of it.”

Chooks-Pilipinas 3X3 will be facing European champions Romania and Slovenia as well as host country France and El Salvador in Group B. The tournament will run from June 17 to 21 in Nantes, France.

After propping up Gilas Pilipinas in their campaign in the 2017 SEABA Championship, Bounty and Chooks-To-Go have now turned their focus to 3X3. “We believe in the potential of 3X3 and we believe we have a good chance in 3X3. So this time, we are once again here to back up the Philippine national team,” president Ronald Mascarinas said.

Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.



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