Kobe Paras holds a University of the Philippines jacket after formalizing Tuesday afternoon his commitment to play for the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP. IKOT.PH

MANILA – After an unimpressive collegiate stint in the United States, Kobe Paras decided to continue his amateur career with the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in the UAAP.

The Gilas Pilipinas cadet formalized his commitment with Maroons on Tuesday. He will serve a one-year residency before becoming eligible in Season 82.

“I look forward to the challenge of helping make the Fighting Maroons a better basketball team and the challenge of helping myself become a better student,” Paras said. “I decided to join UP based on what it can contribute to me becoming better.”

“The University of the Philippines is the most respected educational institution in the country,” he added. “The attraction of UP is not just its basketball program, which just gets better each year, but the world-class education it is known for.”

Paras’ commitment further bolstered Maroons’ campaign next year as he will join former high school teammate Ricci Rivero and holdovers Bright Akhuetie, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, and Will Gozum.

“Talent is talent, and we are fortunate to have a talent like Kobe on board,” said Maroons head coach Dolreich Perasol. “Winning takes more than talent. We have to get everyone on the same page and to play the right way.”

Paras pursued his studies in the United States in 2014 when he played for Cathedral High School in Los Angeles before moving to the Middlebrooks Academy prep team the following year.

He previously committed to play for University of California, Los Angeles but had to withdraw from the school and transfer to Creighton. He then transferred to Cal State Northridge before bolting anew a year later.

Kobe Paras will be the third in their family to don the Maroons jersey after father Venancio “Benjie” in the ’80s and brother Andre in 2013./PN

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