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Benjie Paras
Benjie Paras NBA Asia Challenge 2010.jpg
Paras in 2010
Personal information
Born (1968-10-02) October 2, 1968 (age 55)
Caloocan, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
High school San Beda College
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College University of the Philippines Diliman
PBA Draft 1989 Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Formula Shell
Pro career 1989–2003
Career history
As player:
1989–2002 Shell Turbo Chargers
2002–2003 San Miguel Beermen
As coach:
2012–2019 San Beda Red Lions (assistant)
2019–2020 UP Fighting Maroons (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As player:
  • 4x PBA champion (1990 First, 1992 First, 1998 Governors', 1999 All-Filipino)
  • 2× PBA Most Valuable Player (1989, 1999)
  • PBA Rookie of the Year (1989)
  • PBA Comeback Player of the Year (1999)
  • PBA Best Player of the Conference (1999 Commissioner's)
  • PBA Finals Most Valuable Player (1998 Governors')
  • 5× PBA Mythical First Team (1989–1991, 1995, 1999)
  • 3× PBA Mythical Second Team (1992, 1994, 1996)
  • 9× PBA All-Star (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000)
  • 2× PBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (1994, 1999)
  • PBA Slam Dunk Team Co-champion (1995)
  • PBA Hall of Famer (Class of 2013)
  • PBA 25 Greatest Players of All Time
  • 40 PBA Greatest Players
  • PABL champion (1988 Maharlika)
  • 2x PABL Most Valuable Player (1988 International, 1988 Maharlika)

As assistant coach:

  • 6x NCAA champions (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Men’s basketball
Representing  Philippines
Asian Games
Silver 1990 Beijing Team competition

Venancio Johnson Paras Jr. (born October 2, 1968), better known as Benjie Paras, is a Filipino actor, comedian, and a retired professional basketball player who played for Shell Turbo Chargers and San Miguel Beermen 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.

Early career

High school

Paras played with the San Beda Red Cubs together with Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano.


Paras played for the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP. In 1986, the UP Fighting Maroons won the championship. Paras played with Magsanoc, Altamirano, Joey Guanio, and future UP champion head coach Goldwin Monteverde under the guidance of Joe Lipa.

Professional career

Shell Turbo Chargers (1989–2002)

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 Shell 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. Paras, as of 2020, is the only PBA player to have done this feat.

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 walkout by Anejo players. In 1991, Shell and Ginebra would meet again in the Finals of the Reinforced Conference. Paras and the Turbo 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.

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 it back to the Finals until the 1996 Commissioner's Cup, thanks in part to import Kenny Redfield and supporting casts such as Peter Naron, Richie Ticzon, Victor Pablo, and Jojo Lim. In 1996, they battled the grandslam seeking Alaska Aces, then known as the Alaska Milkmen, in an unbelievable seven-game series which Alaska won. Paras was also a contender to win the MVP in the 1996 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 Gerry 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-American 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.

San Miguel Beermen (2002–2003)

During the 2000s, Paras played in 44 games and had ongoing injuries. In 2003, Paras ended his basketball career. However, he returned later in the year, suiting up for San Miguel Beer before retiring once again at the end of the season. Paras accumulated 10,322 career points throughout his 574 games.

National team career

Paras was also selected to play in the 1990 Asian Games Basketball Team that won the silver medal, but the team came up short against China in the gold-medal match.

Coaching career

In 2013, Paras returned to basketball as an assistant coach for the San Beda Red Lions. In 2014, Paras became one of the members of the PBA Legends Team that played in Asia Tour Singapore.

Acting career

Paras retired in 2003, ending his 14-year career with the Philippine Basketball Association and became 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 was 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 (now TV5) game show, WinWinWin. In 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 and Jolina Magdangal. Benjie Paras also worked with boxer Manny Pacquiao in a GMA 7 Sitcom, Show Me Da Manny. Paras was 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 played as the best friend of Vic Sotto in the movie 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.

In mid-2012, Benjie Paras returned to the drama again in a romantic teleserye One True Love.

Personal life

Paras is married to Lyxen Diomampo, a former pre-school teacher and commercial model. They have two sons, Riley and Sam, and a daughter, Georja. Paras had two sons from a previous marriage, Andre and Kobe; both have basketball careers and started playing for La Salle Greenhills basketball team in grade school. André is also an actor at GMA 7, while Kobe played in the US NCAA Division I having played collegiate ball for the Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, the California State University, Northridge. and for UP Fighting Maroons. Kobe currently plays for Niigata Albirex BB in Japan.



Year Title Role Network
1989 Last Two Minutes The Sitcom PTV 4
Ang Tabi Kong Mamaw IBC
Young Love, Sweet Love Various roles RPN
1990–1992 Estudyante Blues PTV 4
Palibhasa Lalake ABS-CBN
Just the 3 of Us RPN
1993–1998 Oki Doki Doc ABS-CBN
Haybol Rambol GMA Network
1998–2003 Kool Ka Lang Jie
2003–2004 Narito ang Puso Ko Boyong
Kakabakaba Adventures
2003–2007 Lagot Ka, Isusumbong Kita Junior
Guinness Book of World Records Philippine Edition TV5
Naks! GMA Network
Wag Kukurap Various roles
GMA Telecine Specials
Campus Romance
Dear Mikee
Sa Dako Pa Roon
Gags Must Be Crazy IBC
2005–2006 My Guardian Abby QTV
2005 Encantadia Wahid GMA Network
2005–2006 Etheria
2006 Encantadia: Pag-ibig Hanggang Wakas
Family Zoo QTV
Love to Love GMA Network
2007 Lupin Generoso/Jenny
Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang Higanteng Amok
Fantastic Man Gobo
Magic Kamison Pancho
Boys Nxt Door Badong
Kamandag Dinggol
2007–2022 Maynila Various roles
Finish Line 9TV
Win Win Win ABC
2008–2014 Maalaala Mo Kaya Various roles ABS-CBN
2008–2009 Gagambino Stalin GMA Network
2009 Adik Sa'Yo Benjo
Clear Men Future League SOLAR TV
2009–2011 Show Me Da Manny Oscar Paredes GMA Network
2010 The Last Prince Rizayo
Ang Yaman ni Lola Benjo Cabagnot
Puso ng Pasko: Artista Challenge Challenger
Bantatay Jace
2011 Spooky Nights Presents: The Ringtone
Futbolilits Harrison Fortunato
Manny Many Prizes Co-host
2012 Alice Bungisngis and her Wonder Walis Timoteo/Tim
One True Love Douglas
Toda Max Benjo ABS-CBN
2013 Wagas Various roles GMA News TV
Got to Believe Chito Tampipi ABS-CBN
Video Incredible TV5
2013–2016 Wansapanataym Various roles ABS-CBN
2014 Tunay na Buhay Guest GMA Network
2015–2019 NBA Sabados sa Dos Sports Commentator ABS-CBN
2015 Nathaniel Abner Bartolome
The Half Sisters Peter GMA Network
Sabado Badoo Guest
And I Love You So Joey Ramirez ABS-CBN
2016–2020 Dear Uge Various roles GMA Network
2016 Tsuperhero Makutoks
2016–2017 Trops Coach Fred
2017 The Promise of Forever Geoffrey Madrid ABS-CBN
The Lolas' Beautiful Show Guest GMA Network
2017–2019 Ipaglaban Mo! Various roles ABS-CBN
2018 Bagani Bernardo Carpio
Victor Magtanggol Erwin Bravo GMA Network
Barangay 143 Abdul's voice
Daddy's Gurl Tom
2019 The Boobay and Tekla Show Guest
Ipaglaban Mo! Various roles ABS-CBN
2019–2022 Prima Donnas Agaton Salazar GMA Network
2020 Mars Pa More Guest
Fill in the Bank Celebrity Player TV5
Sunday 'Kada Guest
Lunch Out Loud
Iba Yan! Kapamilya Channel,A2Z
2021 Wanted ang Serye TV5
I Can See You: The Lookout Kapitan GMA Network
Sing Galing Celebrity Player TV5
2021–2022 Agimat ng Agila Sgt. Wesley Dimanahan GMA Network
2022 Jose and Maria's Bonggang Villa Mr. Rico Nero
Regal Studio Presents: Most Valuable Daddy Emerson
2023 The Iron Heart Aphroditus "Aphro" Viray Kapamilya Channel
Royal Blood Otep GMA Network


  • Last Two Minutes (Regal Entertainment, 1989) - Benjie's Debut Movie
  • May Isang Tsuper Ng Taxi (FPJ Productions, 1990)
  • Bulag, Pipi at Bingi (Regal Entertainment, 1993)
  • Dunkin Donato (Moviestars Production Inc. 1993)
  • Mga Siyanong Parak (Regal Entertainment, 1993)
  • Greggy en' Boogie: Sakyan mo na lang, Anna (Regal Entertainment, 1994)
  • Exodus: Tales from the Enchanted Kingdom (Ignite Media Productions & Imus Productions, 2005) - Benjie's 1st Action Movie
  • Resiklo (Imus Productions, 2007)
  • My Best Friend's Girlfriend (GMA Films & Regal Entertainment, 2008)
  • My Only Ü (Star Cinema, 2008)
  • Iskul Bukol 20 Years After (M-Zet/APT Entertainment/OctoArts Films, 2008)
  • Wapakman (Solar Entertainment, 2009)
  • Ang Panday (GMA Films, 2009)
  • Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote (GMA Films/M-Zet/APT Entertainment/OctoArts Films/Imus Productions, 2010)
  • Ang Panday 2 (GMA Films, 2011)
  • My Lady Boss (Regal Films, 2013)
  • Ibong Adarna: The Pinoy Adventure (Gurion Entertainment, 2014)
  • Past Tense (Star Cinema, 2014)
  • Papa's Boy (CMB Productions, 2015)
  • Wang Fam (Viva Films, 2015) - Benjie's 1st VIVA Films Movie
  • Lumayo Ka Nga sa Akin (Viva Films, 2016) - post production
  • Dear Future Husband (Viva Films & Star Cinema, 2017) - pre production
  • Barbi: D' Wonder Beki (OctoArts Films & APT Entertainment, 2017)
  • Mang Kepweng 2: Ang Lihim Ng Bandanang Itim (Star Cinema & CineKo Productions, 2020)

Awards and achievements


  • 4x PBA Champion (1990, 1992, 1998 & 1999)
  • 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

Philippine national team

  • Member of the 1990 Asian Games national team (silver medal)
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