||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|No. 14 – Retired|
|League||Philippine Basketball Association|
October 2, 1968 |
Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|College||University of the Philippines|
|PBA draft||1989 Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Formula Shell|
|Pro playing career||1989–2003|
|Shell Turbo Chargers|
|Career highlights and awards|
Venancio Johnson Paras, Jr. (born October 2, 1968), better known as Benjie Paras, is a Filipino actor and a former professional basketball player of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). He is the only PBA player to win both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors, in a single season (1989). As its star center, Paras led the Shell Turbo Chargers to championship titles.
The Rookie from UP
Drafted by the Shell Turbo Chargers in 1989, Paras, aptly nicknamed "The Tower of Power", played in the PBA with ball-handling, powerful rebounding, deft mid-range shooting, well-timed shot blocks and the uncanny ability for inside scoring. Although his team did not win any titles that season, these abilities overshadowed even the most skilled of players and because of these he not only took Rookie of the Year, but also became its Most Valuable Player. Benjie Paras was the only PBA player to have done this feat.
Paras as a Turbo Charger
In 1990, Paras would lead Shell to their first Open Conference title by defeating Anejo Rhum in a championship series that finished in 6 games, the climax featured a walk out by Anejo players. In 1991, Shell and Ginebra would meet again in the Finals of the Reinforced Conference. Paras and the Tubro Chargers seemed poised to beat the Gins once again after taking a commanding 3-1 lead, but the Gins made a dramatic rally and coming back from the 3-1 deficit and winning the title in a classic Game 7 encounter that featured Rudy Distrito's game winner.
Paras was also selected to play in the 1990 Asian games Basketball Team that won the silver medal, coming up short against China in the gold-medal match.
In 1992, Paras and the rejuvenated Turbo Chargers now with Leo Isaac, and Rey Cuenco led Shell to another title, winning it over the San Miguel Beermen. After the 1992 title, Paras and Shell would show inconsistencies as it flirted to the cellars in several occasions. This was also capped with a controversy back in 1993 when Paras sat out for one conference after a contract dispute with Shell that prompted him to demand a trade deal to rival team Anejo Rhum. But after Shell rejected trade offers for their prized center, he decided to concentrate on his movie and TV career. After Paras came back to the team in the 1993 PBA Commissioner's Cup, the team never made to the Finals until 1996 Commissioner's Cup, thanks in part to import Kenny Redfield and supporting casts Peter Naron, Richie Ticzon, Victor Pablo, Jojo Lim etc. in 1996 and battled the grandslam seeking Alaska Aces, then known as the Alaska Milkmen in an unbelievable 7 Game series which Alaska won. Paras was also a contender to win the MVP in the 96 season of the PBA.
Paras would then re-enter the Finals 2 years later in the Centennial Cup Finals this time meeting the Mobiline Phone Pals. In a one-game title showdown, Shell came up short. Paras would get his revenge thanks to the help of Noy Castillo and Gerald Esplana as the rematch was set for The Governor's Cup Finals of the PBA against Mobiline. Shell came back after trailing the series 3 games to 2. Shell and Mobiline battled into a gruelling 7 games until Shell prevailed due to timely baskets by Paras and Esplana.
In 1999, Paras dominated the Filipino-Americans (Fil-Am) laden PBA by leading Shell to another Finals appearance this time against Tanduay Rhum Makers bannered by Fil-Am Eric Menk and the deported Sonny Alvarado. Paras held his own against the two taller, stronger and more athletic Fil-Ams as he led Shell to another title winning it 4-2. That would be Paras' last title, as his team was unable to stop the San Miguel Beermen in the title showdown for the Commissioner's Cup. Paras would win his 2nd MVP since 1989.
For his last three years, injuries plagued his playing career and it was so bad he only saw action in 44 games from 2000 to 2002. Paras retired at age 34 before the opening of 2003 season. However, he returned later in the year, suiting up for San Miguel Beer before retiring once again at season's end.
Paras played in a total of 574 games in his career. Not counting the 2002 campaign, he collected 10,322 points, 4,402 rebounds, 1,822 assists, 1,323 blocks and 221 steals.
|Competitor for Philippines|
|Silver||1990 Beijing||Team competition|
- 2-time Most Valuable Player (1989 & 1999)
- Rookie of the Year (1989)
- 5-time Mythical First Team Selection (1989, 1990, 1991, 1995 & 1999)
- 3-time Mythical Second Team Selection (1992, 1994 & 1996)
- Best Player of the Conference (1999 Commissioner's Cup)
- Comeback Player of the Year (1999)
- Eight-time PBA All-Star
- 2-time PBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (1994 & 1999)
- PBA's 25 Greatest Players of All-Time
Other Basketball Highlights:
- A Member of the 1990 Asian Games national team (Silver Medal)
Paras retired in 2003, ending his 14-year career with the Philippine Basketball Association. He is currently an actor. He recently played for NBA Asia Challenge in 2011 with his fellow former and current PBA Stars and NBA Stars.
He has acted in local films and television shows. He appeared in Narito Ang Puso Ko, his first drama series on GMA Network, he also appeared in a former sitcom, Lagot Ka, Isusumbong Kita, a weekly sitcom by GMA and also starred in Encantadia, as the Ascano barbarian, Wahid. He is also the host of ABC's local version of Guinness Book of Records. He also flexed his acting muscles by playing offbeat roles in Lupin (as Richard Gutierrez's gay inmate) and Fantastic Man (as one of Mark Herras' villains). In late 2007, he became one of main casts in Ramon "Bong" Revilla's movie, Resiklo, which is an entry in Metro Manila Film Festival. He was also the main host for the short-lived late night ABC 5 gameshow, "WinWinWin". On November 2007, he was cast as one of the fictional characters for Richard Gutierrez's former fantaserye on GMA 7, "Kamandag", as Haring Dinggol, king of the human-apes. Paras recently finished his GMA 7 comedy teleserye, "Adik Sa'Yo" with Marvin Agustin & Jolina Magdangal. Benjie Paras is now currently worked with boxer Manny Pacquiao in a new GMA 7 Sitcom, "Show Me Da Manny". Paras is back again on GMA Telebabad for the role as a villain in a recent drama-fantaserye, "The Last Prince". Benjie returns to comedy via a reality comedy show, "Ang Yaman Ni Lola". Benjie returns once again in a 1st Christmas reality show and is now included in a newest GMA 7 Christmas Reality Show, Puso Ng Pasko: Artista Challenge which he was a challenger. Benjie returns to drama again via Bantatay which he plays Jace Ventura, a pet detective. Benjie is now on his former show a horror-comedy anthology, Spooky Nights Presents: The Ringtone. Benjie returns to comedy again and his 4th fantaserye Alice Bungisngis And Her Wonder Walis in 2012.
Paras plays the best friend of Vic Sotto in the movie “Skul Bukol The Reunion” ("Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After") Iskul Bukol#Iskul Bukol 20 Years After (Adventures of Vic Ungasis and the Escalera Brothers) and the best friend of Vhong Navarro's best friend in the movie “My Only U.”
Paras is married to Lyxen Diomampo, a former preschool teacher and commercial model. They have two sons, Riley, and Sam. Paras had two sons from previous celebrity partner Jackie Forster, Andre and Kobe, both have already started their basketball careers as well. They were in grade school (2006) when they first became a part of the La Salle Greenhills varsity. They both currently play for the high school team of the same school.
- Oki Doki Doc (ABS-CBN)
- Haybol Rambol (GMA Network)
- Kool Ka Lang (GMA Network)
- Narito Ang Puso Ko (GMA Network)
- Kakabaka-Boo (GMA Network)
- Kakabakaba Adventures (GMA Network)
- Lagot Ka, Isusumbong Kita (GMA Network)
- Guinness Book Of World Records Philippine Edition (ABC)
- Naks! (GMA Network)
- Wag Kukurap (GMA Network)
- GMA Telecine Specials (GMA Network)
- Campus Romance (GMA Network)
- Mikee (GMA Network)
- Dear Mikee (GMA Network)
- Sa Dako Pa Roon (GMA Network)
- Magpakailanman (GMA Network)
- My Guardian Abby (QTV)
- Encantadia (GMA Network)
- Etheria (GMA Network)
- Encantadia: Pag-ibig Hanggang Wakas (GMA Network)
- Family Zoo (QTV)
- Love to Love (GMA Network)
- Lupin (GMA Network)
- Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (GMA Network)
- Maynila (GMA Network)
- Fantastic Man (GMA Network)
- Magic Kamison (GMA Network)
- Boys Nxt Door (GMA Network)
- Kamandag (GMA Network)
- Finish Line (RPN "now SOLAR TV")
- Win Win Win (ABC)
- Maalaala Mo Kaya? (ABS-CBN, 2008)
- Gagambino (GMA Network, 2008–2009)
- Adik Sa'Yo (GMA Network, 2009)
- Clear Men Future League (SOLAR TV, 2009)
- Talentadong Pinoy (TV5, 2009)
- Show Me Da Manny (GMA Network, 2009–2011)
- The Last Prince (GMA Network, 2010)
- Ang Yaman Ni Lola (GMA Network, 2010)
- Puso ng Pasko: Artista Challenge (GMA Network, 2010)
- Bantatay (GMA Network, 2010)
- Dwarfina (GMA Network, 2011)
- Spooky Nights Presents: The Ringtone (GMA Network, 2011)
- Futbolilits (GMA Network, 2011)
- Manny Many Prizes (GMA Network 2011)
- Alice Bungisngis and her Wonder Walis (GMA Network, 2012)
- One True Love (GMA Network, 2012)
- Toda Max (ABS-CBN, 2012)
- Wansapanataym: Ang Batang Buhawi (ABS-CBN, 2013)
- Magpakailanman: Bayaning Yagit, The Kesz Valdez Story (GMA Network, 2013)
- Got to Believe (TV series) (ABS-CBN, 2013)
|PBA Best Player of the Conference Award - Commissioner's Cup