Andre Paras’ NCRAA mission
Andre Paras is back from a severe ankle sprain and quickly made his presence felt in his return to the AMA University Titans in the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA).
Playing in his first game back since opening day late last year, Paras unloaded 11 points, including two triples, grabbed four rebounds and blocked three shots while trying to feel his way back after a long absence.
For the second-generation cager, trying to fit in is his modest goal for the Titans, who are in solid contention for the championship. AMA finished with a 6-1 win-loss record in Group B, tied with Philippine Merchant Marine School, which it defeated on opening day.
The Titans will be marching to the quarterfinal round, carrying the no. 1 seed in Group B, and will face the survivors in the wildcard phase.
For Paras, son of Philippine Basketball Association legend Benjie, the comeback came in at a perfect time with the Titans now preparing for the tough grind.
“It’s tough because I feel I’m back to zero. I’m out of shape,” added Paras. “There’s not much you can do because I have a right highdegree sprain. I’m trying to get back into shape and trying to get my rhythm back.”
“It’s important because I missed a lot of games in the NCRAA. By the playoffs, I hope to be in top shape again.”
His head coach, Mark Herrera, who handled Paras in the PBA D-League as well, sees him playing an important role in their title quest.
“He just came back because from an injury. He’s still trying to get his wind, missing a lot of games here and in the D-League. He’s still trying to get his laterals, but he’s trying hard. Going to the quarterfinals, he needs to get the feel of the games in the NCRAA to be in top shape.”
But even without Paras, the Titans were able to hold their own against their rivals and the second-generation cager believes AMA will go along way as a team and not just on his efforts.
“It’s the other way around. It’s never been my team. If I were to call it, it’s everyone’s team. It’s AMA basketball. I’m just happy to be part of it. If there are people that needs recognition, it should be Owen Graham and Daniel Salonga among others,” added Paras. “Because they’re the pioneers. They know the system of Coach Mark. I just want to contribute in any way I can.”