Will Navarro apologizes, asks for chance to pursue basketball dream
MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas’ William Navarro apologized on Thursday for his shortcomings in signing with the Seoul Samsung Thunders in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) despite having an existing contract with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Northport.
But he is still seeking a release from his contract to “pursue his and his family’s dreams” although he is ready to accept whatever the decision of the SBP, the PBA, and his mother club
Despite not receiving a clearance to join his Korean club team after SBP released Fiba’s decision, the 6-foot-6 forward still attended Gilas Pilipinas practice last Monday at Meralco Gym and reached out to national team head coach Chot Reyes, team manager Butch Antonio, and SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios, whom he also met on Friday, before releasing his public apology.
“Today, I met with Exec Director Sonny Barrios at his office and reiterated my sincere apology for my error and the misunderstanding and miscommunication caused by my signing up with the Samsung Thunders of Korea,” Navarro wrote.
“I now fully recognize that I have an existing contract with the SBP and am aware of its provision re: the rights of my PBA Drafting Team thru the PBA special draft, Northport Batang Pier. Since the fallout of my actions, have sought professional assistance and am now once again under the advisement of a management team that will assist me with contracts and commitments moving forward.”
The 25-year-old, who was drafted by Northport in the Gilas round of last year’s PBA Rookie Draft, reiterated his desire to play in South Korea, still hoping to get a clearance.
“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,” Navarro said.
The Ateneo standout, who last played for the national team in the third window of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers and in the Asia Cup last July, vowed to remain committed to the Gilas Pilipinas program, regardless of the decision on his case.
“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,” Navarro said.
Last Sunday, Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, and other global Filipino basketball players rallied behind Navarro after he was barred from playing in the KBL.