By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipino basketball sensation Kobe Paras is the seventh Filipino who just earned a contract under the Japan B. League.
After flying to the United States to continue his skills development training, Paras finally made a decision and confirmed that he will be signing with B. League Division I team Niigata Albirex.
“I’m very excited. I’m so grateful for my team, Niigata Albirex, for taking a chance on me. I also want to say thank you to the Niigata Albirex coaching staff and boosters for giving me a chance to play for such a great league,” said Paras during an interview with the Tiebreaker Times.
Paras added that Nilgata head coach Fujitaka Hiraoka and the team’s management tapped him to reinforce their squad after his rumored deal with the Utsonomiya Brex did not materialize.
Nilgata is coming off a disappointing season with a 16-38 win-loss record and is expecting the Filipino high-leaper to bring an immediate impact to the team.
“I can’t wait to meet my new teammates out there and hear the amazing fans cheer us on every game!” Paras shared.
Paras is the seventh Filipino to sign with a team in Japan joining Thirdy Ravena (San-En NeoPhoenix), Kiefer Ravena (Shiga Lakestars), Juan Gomez de Liano (Earthfriends Tokyo Z), Bobby Ray Parks Jr. (Nagoya Diamond Dolphins), Javi Gomez de Liano (Ibaraki Robots), and Kemark Carino (Aomori Wat’s).
Paras last suited up for the PH national squad Gilas Pilipinas under the tutelage of coach Tab Baldwin where he would help the team end its FIBA Manama bubble stint with an unblemished record.