Gilas forward Navarro issues apology to SBP, aware of existing contract with PBA


GILAS Pilipinas forward Will Navarro has issued an apology to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) with hopes of seeking a common ground in the future regarding his contract that spoiled his overseas stint.

Breaking his silence in the issue that has put the local federation under fire for not allowing the transfer abroad, Mr. Navarro admitted the shortcomings on his part as he recognized the “existing contract” in the way of his supposed Korean Basketball League (KBL) stint with the Seoul Samsung Thunders.

Mr. Navarro, 25, personally made the apology for the “error, misunderstanding and miscommunication caused by my signing up with the Samsung Thunders of Korea” in a meeting with SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.

“I now fully recognize that I have an existing contract with the SBP and am aware of its provision regarding the rights of my PBA Drafting Team through the PBA special draft, Northport Batang Pier,” said Mr. Navarro after also sitting down with Gilas Pilipinas head coach, team manager Chot Reyes.

The said existing contract was the reason why SBP wasn’t able to grant Mr. Navarro a Letter of Clearance (LOC), a FIBA policy in player transfer, that eventually shelved his KBL’s play.

A product of Ateneo in the UAAP, Mr. Navarro got into ties with SBP last year as part of the special PBA-Gilas draft before apparently committing to Seoul last July.

Even the FIBA, after reviewing the positions of SBP and Korean Basketball Association (KBA) that supervises the KBL, has decided in favor of the Philippine federation regarding the issue.

In the middle of this development, Mr. Navarro still wishes for a chance to iron things out in a bid to “pursue his dream and his family’s” if permitted.

“I seek the kind understanding and generosity of the SBP, the PBA and the Northport Batang Pier Team to give me a chance to pursue my and my family’s dreams for my basketball career. I pledge to abide by whatever decision they may arrive at regarding my case,” added Mr. Navarro, who after the issue has sought professional assistance and management team for his commitments moving forward.

Wherever he may end up, Mr. Navarro said he is committed to play for flag and country whenever his number is called.

“Further, I commit to make myself available to Gilas Pilipinas whenever the program needs my services — this is why I wholeheartedly attended last night’s practice. Lastly, with this apology and clarification, I trust that we will all be united for the good of Gilas Pilipinas and Philippine basketball,” he concluded. — John Bryan Ulanday

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