MONROVIA, Calif. – UCLA-commit Kobe Paras showed remarkable toughness in Cathedral High School’s 84-72 win over Gahr High School in the California Interscholastic Federation State Championship playoffs this weekend.
Paras played the whole 32 minutes. For more than half of the game, he had to play with one eye after taking a hit in the second quarter. His eye remained swollen even after the game.
“I guess now I feel like (Manny) Pacquiao feels when he gets punched,” said Paras.
“I was just shocked with the physicality that they did, but it’s adversity,” he added. “Just like what our coach tells us, we need to handle adversity, like we did today.”
Paras had a big game, finishing 27 points and collecting double-digit rebounds along with a few assists. He had a few blocks that slowed down the physical Gladiators as well.
Washington State recruit Milan Accquah and Brazil’s Lucas Seiwart also hit big baskets in the fourth period when Gahr was trying to make a comeback.
“I’m just here to get a win for my team,” said Paras. “I don’t focus on the individual stats, because this is the state playoffs. We need to win the state championship. That’s what important for us.”
“That’s what I want to give back to my coach because our coach keeps telling us he wants a championship, and he’s been giving us a lot.”
Cathedral High School will continue their Division 3 tournament on Tuesday in a semi-final game against Alemany High.
Meanwhile, another Filipino hoops prodigy, Sedrick Barefield, also had a sensational weekend as he scored 22 points for Centennial High in a 104-70 win over Village Christian in the Division 1 opening round.
Centennial will host Redondo Union in the semi-finals on Tuesday.