MANILA, Philippines – If not for Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras wouldn’t be donning the Philippine tricolor this June.
The two blue chippers will join another in Jeron Teng for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup. Together, they will be reinforced by JR Quinahan as part of the Chooks-Pilipinas squad that will compete in Nantes, France.
According to Ravena, Paras was at his home and they were headed for the gym for a light workout when they pitched the idea to the former Creighton Bluejay.
“We were discussing who else to get kasi ang naka-commit pa lang was si Jeron and I,” the former Ateneo de Manila University star said.
From left: The Chooks-to-Go mascot, Kiefer Ravena, coach Eric Altamirano, BAVI president Ronald Mascariñas, Jeron Teng and Kobe Paras. | Philstar.com Photo
“So sabi ko, ‘Kobes, ‘di ba you’ll redshirt pa?’ Kasi diba he transferred?” Ravena shared. “‘Gusto mo laro ka muna.’ Sabi niya, ‘Tignan namin.’ Eventually, pinagbigyan din siya. “
“Redshirt” is a term used for a time spent to delay a playing year in US collegiate basketball. Paras is set to serve one year residency with Cal State Northridge after parting ways with Creighton last month.
The 6-foot-6 Paras, like Ravena and Teng belong to the crop of much-awaited second-generation cagers.
And as if it’s not going to be better for these youngsters, they will also be mentored by Eric Altamirano—who once worked alongside their fathers in the pros.
“Very important,” Ravena said when asked to comment about Altamirano’s leadership. “Parang na-explain niya agad sa amin how the game is played and how we can mesh.”
“Si Coach E na-handle niya ‘yung dad ko tsaka si tito Alvin. He played together with tito Benjie so I guess, ‘di siya [mahihirapan] i-handle ‘yung second generation,” the young Ravena said.
Altamirano played with PBA legend Benjie during their collegiate days at University of the Philippines. The former then coached Bong Ravena in Purefoods, and then Alvin Teng in Mobiline (now TNT).
“Sabi lang niya, mag-enjoy kami kasi this is a rare chance to be together,” the Texas Legends developmental player said. “Minsan lang kami magsama-sama so make the most out of it.”
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