Last April 14, for the third time in his young career, upstart Renzo Navarro wore a different jersey.
Back in 2015, Navarro — fresh off a stint with Batang Gilas — donned La Salle’s green and white. After seeing limited minutes under coach Juno Sauler, the 5-foot-9 floor general decided to return home to San Sebastian and play for the red and yellow. But his homecoming was short-lived, as he decided to transfer to Lyceum of the Philippines University during the off-season.
It was a result of things beyond the 20-year-old’s control.
“Kasi may mga bagay na hindi tayo na-co-control e. May mga nangyari na nag-lead sa decision ko na umalis ulit ng Baste,” disclosed Navarro, who averaged 6.3 points and 3.1 assists back in the NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball Tournament. “Nakita ko na maganda yung community at family dito sa Lyceum kaya nag-decide ako na pumunta dun.
“Luckily, kinuha ako nila coach Topex [Robinson] at winelcome nila ako sa family nila.”
Though it was a tough decision on his part to leave the school that made him a blue chip recruit back in 2014, the culture developed by Robinson and his staff made his transition seamless. Currently, Navarro is playing for the Lyceum Pirates in the 2018 SMART City Hoops Under-25 Summer Classic.
“Sa sobrang open nila, hindi ko na-feel na nag-transfer ako e.
“Parang first practice ko palang dun, feel ko na ang tagal ko na silang kasama kasi nga parang gina-guide ako ng mga bago kong teammates. Para ngang matagal na kami magkakaibigan doon. Ilan din sa kanila, sila Jeff [Santos] at Spencer [Pretta], inabot ko pa sa Baste yun e,” beamed the young point guard.
However, moving to another school means that he has to sit out another year. Still, Navarro is taking it positively, as he will use this time to condition himself for Season 95.
“Yung one year na pahinga ko, tine-take ko positively. Iniisip ko na lang, mas marami akong time mag-prepare kesa dun sa iba. Gagamitin ko yung one year na yun para mag-invest sa mga kulang ko,” Navarro vowed.
“Para kung time ko na mag-step up, ready na ko.”