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2021 FIBA Asia Cup

Despite erratic minutes, playing position, Navarro’s will never wavered

JAKARTA — William Navarro once again showed what he can do when given longer minutes after leading Gilas Pilipinas to win no. 1 in the FIBA Asia Cup 2022. 

The 6-foot-6 versatile forward finished with a game-high 18 points in 16 minutes as they dealt India a 101-59 beatdown to bounce back from that stinging loss they absorbed at the hands of Hayk Gyokchyan and Lebanon.

“‘Yun naman ang palaging sinasabi ni Coach Nenad [Vucinic] sa amin. We have to be focused, be in the moment,” he offered moments after the match at the Istora Senayan inside the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex here.

Navarro’s playing time has been quite up and down in the tournaments that the Filipino dribblers have taken part in recent months.

There was the 31st Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball competition in Vietnam. There, he did not play even a single second in the gold medal match against Indonesia, the eventual champs.

Then came the World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers’ opening window at the SMART Araneta Coliseum just last February. After playing for 15 minutes against India, he curiously only saw action for three minutes against New Zealand.

A legitimate small forward at 6-foot-6, Navarro admitted that such a situation has taken a toll not just on his rhythm, but on his morale as well.

2022-FIBA-Asia-Cup-India-vs-Gilas-William-Navarro Despite erratic minutes, playing position, Navarro's will never wavered 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news


“More of mental e, kasi siyempre… Let’s say for me, in my position, am expecting to play more. Pero ganun talaga basketball, ‘di natin madi-dictate mangyayari.

“I just have to focus on the moment, whenever na ipasok ako sa court,” said the soon-to-be Seoul Samsung player.

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That, however, has not been the case in the ongoing continental tournament. Navarro has played 17 minutes in both of their first two games, providing quite a reminder his abilities when left on the hardwood longer.

“Oo, siyempre,” said Navarro, when asked if he’s also trying to prove that he can be reliable as well.

“I wanna say thank you rin to myself kasi I’m not giving up e, so ‘yun lang, at least ‘yung hard work ko, may result.”

Catch Gilas’ games in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

Highlights of the games will also be on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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