By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Gilas Pilipinas mainstay swingman William Navarro will finally make his highly anticipated professional debut in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
After failing to get a Letter of Clearance (LOC) from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) which shattered his ultimate dream of playing in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) a month ago, Navarro will render his services to the NorthPort Batang Pier and is expected to play today against the San Miguel Beermen.
Navarro was selected by the Batang Pier franchise during the last year’s edition of the PBA Rookie special Gilas draft behind Jordan Heading.
However, Navarro could not suit up for NorthPort due to his consistent Gilas Pilipinas national team duties and played in almost all FIBA windows under the tutelage of head coach Chot Reyes.
It was reported that the former Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) star signed a two-conference deal with the Batang Pier, but further specific details were not disclosed.
NorthPort team manager and current chief tactician of the Letran Knights Bonnie Tan also confirmed the development two days ago.
Navarro’s addition will be a huge boost to the NorthPort playing pool as the squad looks to enter the post-season playoffs with a 3-3 win-loss record.
The two-way small forward will be teaming up with one of the most exciting point guards in the PBA in Robert Bolick and is expected to fortify their perimeter defense.
Also backstopping Navarro in the small forward position are Jerrick Balanza, Kevin Ferrer, and Arvin Tolentino.
Currently, the Pido Jarencio-led squad is in a four-way deadlock with the Phoenix Fuel Masters, Rain or Shine Elastopainters, and the NLEX Road Warriors in the fourth spot.