6-4 Fil-Greek seeks U-18 slot
MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino-Greek player hopes to make it to the Philippine Under-18 team set to compete in the Fiba Asia U18 Championship this August in Doha, Qatar.
William Raniel Navarro, a 6-foot-4 wingman, arrived in the country last week to try out for the squad bannered by high school stars Thirdy Ravena and Aaron Black of Ateneo and San Beda’s Joshua Andrei Caracut.
National youth coach Jamike Jarin, who also mentors the Under-17 squad that will compete in the Fiba U17 World Championship, has yet to complete the Under-18 roster.
The 17-year-old Navarro, born to Filipino parents and raised in Greece, played for the junior team of Greece’s pro basketball squad Panathinaikos.
“He still has to familiarize himself with the kind of play and the system that we have,” said Jarin. “He’s very raw, but very athletic. The future looks bright for him.”
Navarro, who traces his roots in Talisay, Batangas, plans to stay in the country for college after finishing high school in Greece.
“I have to improve my shooting,” said the lanky Navarro.
“I like to play wing because I have the height advantage.”
Jarin intends to keep the same lineup for the U17 team, which, just like the men’s squad Gilas Pilipinas, had a historic romp in Fiba Asia where it clinched a silver and a slot in the Worlds for the first time.
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