MS 30th Anniversary XXX

Benjie Paras’ son joins UP Maroons

When Andre Paras suits up for the University of the Philippines Maroons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, he won’t exactly follow the footsteps of his star father Benjie. The 6'3" Paras, who will be play either as a forward or a center, has decided to commit himself for the Maroons, just one of four newcomers, who have done so. UP Maroons coach Ricky Dandan said this after convincing the 17-year-old Paras to come aboard. “I am optimistic now that he will be with us. Iba ang laro ni Benjie. Pure center siya. I see Andre either as a center or forward. Maganda ang medium range jump shots niya," said Dandan. The young Paras gained prominence two years ago when he caught the eye of Dandan after he led La Salle-Greenhills to the National Collegiate Athletic Association junior finals against the  San Bed Red Cubs, who eventually on the crown. In Game 1 of the finals, Paras struck with a three-point play, which helped keep the game close in the last 1:04, helping carry the La Salle Greenhills-Greenies to an 85-82 upset of the two-time champion San Beda Red Cubs. Also joining Paras as rookies are Xavier School ace Kyles Lao, Paras’ teammate Charles Yap and University of Visayas standout Paul Desiderio. The presence of the young Paras into the Maroons’ roster comes 25 years after his father played for UP from 1984 to 1988. Benjie was around when the Joe Lipa-coached squad won its first-ever cage title in 1986. Benjie, known as the “Tower of Power” in the Philippine Basketball Association, is now one of the assistant coaches of the San Beda Red Lions. The young Paras normed 5.4 points, five rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 14.3 minutes of play on his final year with LSGH. The Maroons are currently in a rebuilding period following the graduation of eight mainstays. The mainstays include Chris Ball, Raoul Soyud, Julius Wong, Henry Asilum and Paolo Romero.
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