Zavier Lucero gains 'good 30 pounds' en route to PBA debut

Zavier Lucero gains ‘good 30 pounds’ en route to PBA debut

/ 12:16 AM March 02, 2024

Zavier Lucero PBA

Zavier Lucero finally makes his long-awaited debut in the PBA Philippine Cup after recovering from a knee injury. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—One year and two months ago, Zavier Lucero wore a University of the Philippines jersey under a lanky body frame.

A long period later, Lucero finally donned a Northport jersey as he made his long-awaited debut in the PBA Philippine Cup and visibly put on more muscle mass than usual.

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According to the rookie, he made it a point to be heavier during his recovery period from a torn ACL.

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SCHEDULE: 2024 PBA Philippine Cup

“That’s a big thing for me this offseason and rehab period. I had a chance with a year long recovery period and for me, I tacked on muscle and put weight on,” said Lucero after their 107-100 loss in overtime at the hands of NLEX on Friday.

“I gained a good 30 pounds just lifting and trying to prepare myself for the pro-level and trying to prepare myself to withstand whatever I need to withstand. I’ll definitely put my work in to be able to come back stronger.”

In his debut for the professional league, Lucero held his own and flirted with a double-double to the tune of 13 points and eight rebounds with four blocks to match.

READ: PBA: Zavier Lucero activated by NorthPort

It didn’t come easy though, as the Road Warriors played him physically especially when he was in the paint.

Lucero, though, said he expected the rough play from NLEX in his first game in the PBA. It is, after all, “Philippine basketball.”

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“That’s Philippine [basketball]. You welcome it and you expect it. You have to be ready for it otherwise, you’ll get bullied. I’m finding my flow and style of play again but I’m in no rush. I’m just trying to get better each day.”

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The fifth overall pick of the 2023 PBA Draft logged 11.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game in his final year with UP before tearing his ACL in the UAAP Season 85 Finals against Ateneo.

TAGS: Northport Batang Pier, PBA Philippine Cup, UP Fighting Maroons, Zavier Lucero

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