GRANADA HILLS, Calif. – With a roster full of some of the top high school basketball players in the state, the highly ranked Cathedral High School Phantoms are blowing out opponents at the first major local high school tournament of the season.
Among Cathedral’s roster of California’s top ranked players and a few international prodigies, Kobe Paras – son of PBA legend and actor Benjie Paras – has become a main attraction, despite limited practice due to a gym remodeling and school finals.
The team has come out with three straight blowouts in the tournament that began Thursday.
Paras scored 18 points on Friday, including a series of dunks.
Among those checking out Kobe was sportswriter and Philippine basketball expert, Rafe Bartholemew.
“It’s impressive, just the way he goes to the basket, he’s really strong, finishes well,” said Bartholemew. “He’s creative when he finishes. If anything, I can tell the coaches were frustrated when he wasn’t moving his feet a lot on defense in the first half and picked up some early fouls because of it.”
Despite their team losing to Cathedral High by 30 points, Filipinos from St. Genevieve High School showed support for the UCLA-bound Paras.
“It’s an honor playing against him, but just to play basketball, play for the love of the sport,” said Matthew Reyes.
The San Fernando Invitational ends with the championship round on Tuesday night – the Phantoms have advanced to the final four.
The school may be on winter break, but for the Phantoms, basketball never rests. After Christmas, they go to Las Vegas for another tournament.