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Paras shares he used to idolize Washington and Yap growing up

by Niel Victor Masoy, May 15, 2020 8:34pm

Growing up, Kobe Paras, just like many basketball fans, looked up to certain Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players.

And for the University of the Philippines (UP) 6-foot-6 phenom, it was Jay Washington and James Yap who stood out in the crowd before he moved to the States to try his basketball luck there.

"Growing up before I move to the States, the player that I really look up to is Jay Washington. I think him and James Yap are the players that I really look up to," said Paras in a Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Facebook live session last week.

"Jay Wash he's so tall and before I moved to the States he was really dominating the PBA and andami niya na ring injuries but he's still out there trying to play."

Indeed, Washington, now 38, was one of the best, if not the best player, in the late 2000s and the early 2010's of the PBA.

Standing at 6-foot-7, Washington, then the San Miguel Beermen's main man, showed both his big man and guard-like moves in the league as he went on to win two Best Player of the Conference awards (2010 Fiesta Conference, 2011 Philippine Cup).

The four-time All-Star Washington, who now plays for the TnT KaTropa, also bagged three titles, two with the San Miguel franchise (2009 Fiesta, 2011 Governors') and one with the Talk N' Text franchise (2015 Commissioner's).

Multiple injuries, though, slowed Washington just like the 6-foot-3 James Yap, who used to be the star for the Purefoods franchise.

Yap, who now plays for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, has also gathered multiple awards highlighted by two Most Valuable Player (MVP) plums and 16 All-Star team selections.

'Big Game' Yap, 38, bagged four Finals MVP trophies and won seven PBA championships as well, including the 2014 Grand Slam, all with the Purefoods/B-Meg/ San Mig Coffee franchise.

"James Yap, come on, there's no way you can't take James Yap. He changed the culture. He changed the game. He's really an inspiration to me. That's why everytime I see him, he's probably one of the PBA players that I get starstrucked," shared Paras.

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