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Joining NorthPort the ‘best decision’ as Navarro moves on from unfortunate events

ANTIPOLO – It clearly wasn’t the PBA debut he hoped for, but William Navarro is nonetheless happy to play again after being idle for a long time.

The young winger immediately suited up for NorthPort in its Commissioner’s Cup clash with San Miguel Beer Wednesday night days after inking a two-conference deal, ending his inactivity that lasted for over three months.

“Feeling namin ng manager ko [PJ Pilares, TMG], this was the best decision,” he said shortly after the Batang Pier’s 104-86 loss at the Ynares Center here. “Kasi kailangan ko rin maglaro e. Kasi yung last laro ko, sa Indonesia pa kami nun e, sa Gilas.

“Ang tagal ko ng walang laro. Parang ‘di na ‘ko basketball player nun e, kasi ‘di na ‘ko naglalaro. So at least ngayon, nakalaro ako. Masaya naman ako pero talo, mixed emotions,” added the 25-year-old product of Ateneo.

Navarro last played during Gilas Pilipinas’ FIBA Asia Cup campaign in Jakarta back in July, and a lot happened to him in the months that followed.

Navarro was supposed to take his talents to the Seoul Samsung Thunders of the Korean Basketball League, but those plans fell apart as he couldn’t gain clearance from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

It drew lots of reactions from netizens and his fellow players but the federation stood its ground, wanting Navarro to ‘respect agreements.’

The Greek-born cager went on to issue an apology afterward but that didn’t help as the Thunders instead signed Fil-Canadian Christian David from NCAA Division 1 school Butler University under their Asian Player Quota rule.

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Navarro didn’t hide that he was upset over that failed stint in Korea but cleared that he’s moved on, with his sights now set on helping NorthPort.

“At first siyempre, upset ako nun kasi nga ‘di natuloy. Pero move on na ako. Ngayon, ‘di ko na iniisip ‘yun. Focus ko lang ngayon is dito sa NorthPort. Makalaro, gawin ko ‘yung part ko, and just work,” he said.

He did show as much despite the blowout as he tallied 14 points in 24 minutes off the bench, on top of two rebounds, an assist, and a steal.

Still, the two-time UAAP gold medalist is far from satisfied despite the decent performance he submitted after being beaten by 18 points.

“Individually, medyo okay. But not satisfied. Kasi at least, naka-contribute ako kahit papano sa team. And to think na ang tagal ko ng walang laro e, so at least medyo sigh of relief na okay, nakalaro na ‘ko, naka-contribute pa ako sa team,” lamented the former Gilas draft pick.

“Medyo okay. Pero at the same time, sad kasi tambak kami e. ‘Di okay ‘yun.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

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

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