Kobe Paras, who is remembered for dunking over Lebron James during the NBA star’s Manila visit, soared his way to winning the Slam Dunk Contest of the FIBA 3×3 World U-18 Championship late Sunday in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The 16-year old son of two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Benjie Paras secured his title romp by leaping over teammate Thirdy Ravena who was sitting in a Harley Davidson-like motorcycle during the final round.
Paras’ slam was enough to outlast Antonio Morales of Spain, Demonte Flanigan of the United States and Sun Ming Hui of China and salvage something noteworthy for the Philippine contingent that failed to advance into the knockout stages of the annual event.
A varsity cager at La Salle Greenhills, Paras earned a place in the finals by scoring 30 points in the qualification pool before saving his best for last with the winning dunk.
His win came months after dunking over James in the Nike-sponsored event last July at the Mall of Asia Arena where some of the youth players were on hand to join the Miami Heat superstar in various activities.
Paras teamed up with Ateneo’s Ravena, fellow LSGH cager Prince Rivero and San Beda’s Arvie Tolentino to capture the FIBA Asia 3×3 U-18 Championship in Bangkok last May before finishing fifth in Pool B of the World Championship with a 3-4 record. (Jonas Terrado)