Kobe Paras impresses in pro debut, but Niigata falls to Kyoto

David Simon's dominant showing spoiled Kobe Paras' B.League debut. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Kobe Paras did not disappoint in his first game in the professional basketball ranks, but it was not enough to lift Albirex Niigata to their first win in the young B.League season, bowing to Kyoto Hannaryz, 85-81, on Saturday at the Nagaoka City Hall Plaza.

The six-foot-six swingman actually sizzled in the first half, dropping 20 points by his lonesome even as Niigata used a 31-10 second quarter to take a 50-41 lead over Kyoto at halftime.

However, Paras was held to just five points in the third quarter as Kyoto launched a comeback, which the team would complete in the fourth after holding Niigata to just 14 markers—and Paras scoreless in the final 10 minutes.

David Simon, who once played for TNT in the 2016 PBA Commissioner's Cup, led Kyoto with 28 points on 13-of-22 shooting, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Kazuki Hosokawa added 18 markers, eight rebounds, and two assists.

Paras' 25-point performance for Niigata, which happened right on the 53rd birthday of his father, PBA legend Benjie Paras, came off an 8-for-16 clip from the field including a more impressive 4-for-6 from beyond the arc while adding one rebound, four assists, and two steals.

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