All eyes are on Kobe Paras, who recently joined Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quiñahan as Philippine representatives for the ongoing FIBA 3x3 in France.
Back in the country, though, another Paras is turning heads with his resurgent play.
No, the legendary Benjie Paras didn't come out of retirement and sign a 10-day contract with the San Miguel Beermen. Rather, his son Andre is making some noise in the PBA D-League after two years of being away from the game.
The 6'4" basketball heir was a fixture in the collegiate ranks before pursuing the other thing that his dad is known for: show business. It seemed Andre was hanging his jersey up for good to focus on a career in acting (The Half Sisters, Diary ng Panget).
That was until reports of him returning to the court, as a member of the semi-pro team AMA Online Education Titans, surfaced late last month.
Despite losing to the Cignal Hawkeyes a week ago, Andre fared well in his comeback with a solid line of five points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and five blocks. His all-around performance was highlighted by a move that reminded of his father—an emphatic dunk following an offensive rebound.
His second outing, versus Zark's Burger Jawbreakers, was even more impressive: seven markers, 22 boards, and three rejections. AMA may have been beaten again, but Andre almost matched the record for most rebounds (29) set by another former Titan, Jay-R Taganas.
He may lack the offensive dominance showed by his pops, but the shades of Benjie on defense are there—with greater hustle if we may add. For someone who basically had been out of commission, grabbing a total of 32 rebounds in his first two games was pretty remarkable.
To think that this dude was mocked on social media for looking better off alongside Barbie Forteza and Yassi Pressman. Maybe being the less-celebrated Paras pushes him to work harder on the basketball side of things.
Kobe might be on another level, but don't sleep on the rising player that is Andre.