Philippine Basketball Association legend Benjie Paras warned his youngest son Kobe Paras of the physicality of the 2015 FIBA 3×3 Under-18 World Championships on June 4 to 7 in Debrecen, Hungary. The younger Paras will lead the Philippines’ campaign in the group stage of the tournament.
“A tough battle awaits them in every match in Hungary and they really need to give their best effort. The physicality is tougher than any three-on-three game. Kobe and his teammates should be careful to avoid being hurt,” Paras told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
Asked what advise he would give his son and the other Filipino players, Paras said: “They should play faster against their opponent and smarter too. I’m sure their opponents are taller and strong.”
Besides the 17-year-old Paras, the other members of the Philippine team are Richard Escoto of Far Eastern University, Mike Nieto of Ateneo De Manila University and Paolo Rivero of La Salle Greenhills.
The Philippine team, according to Paras, was bracketed in pool A together with powerhouse Russia, host Hungary, Poland, Kazakhstan and Uruguay. Pool B is composed of Andorra, Germany, Romania, Egypt, Lithuania and Guatemala.
Pool C has Brazil, New Zealand, Turkey, Estonia, France and Vietnam, while Group D has defending champion Argentina, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United States, Georgia, Indonesia and Puerto Rico.
The Philippines will play against Poland for its first game on June 4.
The younger Paras caught the attention of Filipino basketball fans after his outstanding performance in the 2013 FIBA 3X3 World U-18 tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia. Paras, who is now studying in University of California Los Angeles, wowed the crowd after dunking over his teammates and a motorcycle to win the slam-dunk contest.