Ateneo's Will Navarro added to special Gilas Pilipinas draft

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2021 02:18 PM

Ateneo's Will Navarro added to special Gilas Pilipinas draft 1
Ateneo's Will Navarro is the last addition to the Gilas Pilipinas pool. FIBA.basketball

MANILA, Philippines -- The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Monday announced that it will take Ateneo de Manila University forward William Navarro in the special round of the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft, thereby adding him to the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

Navarro joins Jordan Heading, Tzaddy Rangel, and Jaydee Tungcab as the selections of the national team.

"William Navarro initially begged off from joining but his stint inside the Gilas Pilipinas training bubble has convinced him that this would be the best direction for his development as a basketball player," SBP president Al Panlilio said of Navarro's decision.

The 6-foot-6 forward will be the final addition to the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

Navarro forfeited his final season of eligibility with the Blue Eagles to join the Rookie Draft. He averaged 7.38 points and 5.77 rebounds per game for Ateneo in Season 82, when they completed a perfect 16-0 season.

He also played in the November 2020 window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Bahrain, putting up four points and a rebound in Gilas Pilipinas' 93-61 rout of Thailand.

Navarro will become a full-time player for Gilas Pilipinas as the national team builds up for international competitions, culminating in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup that the Philippines will co-host with Indonesia and Japan.

"Again, the SBP thanks the PBA Board of Governors and commissioner Willie Marcial for their flexibility in this matter and for allowing Navarro to join the Gilas pool instead," said Panlilio.

"We know that a lot of teams had their eyes on Navarro but the Board of Governors saw past that to consider the needs of Gilas," he added. "He will be the last addition to our pool to give the PBA teams enough time to map their game-plan for the upcoming draft."

The PBA Rookie Draft is set for March 14 in a virtual ceremony.

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