FORMER University of the Philippines Fighting Maroon star and Gilas mainstay Kobe Paras will be playing for the Niigata Albirex, as he signed with the club to make him the latest Filipino basketball ace to move to Japan’s B.League.
"I am very grateful to have this opportunity to be a part of such a great organization and basketball league," said the son of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Benjie Paras in a statement that was released by the team on its website.
"I cannot wait to arrive in Japan, to work hard on becoming a better player and creating life-long memories with my teammates, staff, and wondering fans. I'm so excited and I hope you are as well," Paras added.
Paras’ Japan stop is the latest in what has been long journey for the 23-year old, who has had a stint playing in the US NCAA Division 1 before playing a season with the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP where he averaged 16.14 points, 5.14 rebounds, 1.79 assists, 1.21 blocks, and 1.14 steals per game. The high-leaping forward has also played for Gilas in the Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Paras’ addition is expected to help Nigata’s club, which had a 16-38 campaign in the B.League’s last season.