WHO would be on the side of Andre Paras to guide him every step of the way now that he'll be trekking a PBA career path?
No one else, but his legendary father Benjie Paras.
Aside from serving as inspiration, the elder Paras is also the one currently handling the career of the eldest of his two playing sons.
Andre, 25, and among the rookies tabbed by Blackwater in the recent PBA draft, doesn't see anything wrong with that, saying there had been instances in the past where father and son worked together and came out successful.
"Who else would be the perfect person kundi yung dad ko kasi he knows the ins and outs of everything," said Andre of his father, the only player in PBA history to ever win the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in the same season back in 1989.
"So I'm just thankful na may dad is there. So no problem with that whatsoever."
It was also the 52-year-old Paras who tried to settle Andre down during the draft proceedings especially when his name hasn't been called yet after the second round.
"My dad said, 'relax lang,' Andre recalled of the comforting words his father gave him while the draft was ongoing.
"Of course mauuna yung mga kailangan nila (mga teams), because there's so many talented players. Ang dami kasi namin so what more can you expect," he said of the Class of 2020 that numbered to a total of 86 applicants.
The 6-foot-4 Paras would eventually be taken in the third round (no. 27 overall) by the Bossing.
When his name was called, it so happened Benjie was in the same room where Andre was watching the proceedings via zoom.
"Sakto lang when he came in, that's when coach Nash (Racela) mentioned my name," said the young Paras, who is also a television and movie personality, and does modelling on the side.
"I was like my 'lucky charm pala ako. Dapat nandito pala ang dad ko nung una pa lang,'" a smiling Andre said. "It was a good sign because it wasn't any game or situation, but he's always there making me happy, making me smile kahit paano."
The younger Paras recently signed the two-year offer made by Blackwater, although he has yet to put his name on the dotted line officially as the formal contract signing may come just after the Holy Week.
But certainly, Andre wants to prove himself that despite being a known actor and celebrity, he too, has the passion for basketball and ready to prove he belongs to the PBA.
"Kahit alam naman natin na I love making fun or entertaining people on cam, but when it comes to basketball, I also mean business. I also want to show my heart and passion for the sport," said the rookie player.
Just like his dad. (RG)