By WAYLON GALVEZ
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone recognizes talent when he sees one, and from what he saw from rookie Andre Paras, the son of former PBA MVP has what it takes to become a star in his own right.
“He has a big rep as a big time rebounder. He’s a big time rebounder,” Cone said when he guested on the sports show The Chasedown last Saturday on One PH over CIGNAL TV.
“Rebounders always excite me. I’m always really excited about having rebounders on the team. I think they are very hard to groom. Rebounders are more natural,” added Cone.
Paras also appeared on the same show a few weeks ago and it was him who revealed that he got invited by the popular team Ginebra for a workout, as well as the Blackwater Bossing.
The 23-time champion coach and his Ginebra coaching staff had a good close look during a special workout with the 6-foot-4 Paras prior to the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft last month.
Cone said the team actually considered Paras – son of PBA legend Benjie Paras – as either the last pick in the first round or the first pick in the second round.
However, the team ended up picking former Far Eastern University bigman Ken Holmqvist at 12th and Fil-Am guard Brian Enriquez at 13th overall, respectively in the Draft.
“We really considered him, picking him,” said Cone.
“Only reason we didn’t is we just felt Ken was a little bit more versatile and kind of resembles Joe Devance, you know me how much I love Joe, and how big he is in our system, we felt Ken might be able to fill in for Joe in that role.”
“Then we got a guard afterwards, so once we got a big guy, we didn’t want to get two big guys, it will overload our lineup.”
Blackwater Bossing selected Paras, who played college ball for University of the Philippine, in the third round of the Draft.
Despite not having Paras, Cone sees him doing well in the PBA because of his rebounding prowess. He even likens him to one of his players with a knack of getting rebounds.
“If you look at Scottie Thompson, when Scottie got a rebound, it became very natural for him. Andre is just the same way,” said Cone.
“Andre is one guy we really looked at, we thought about the kid is really driven specially on the boards. He’s a monster.”