Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Will Navarro has signed a two-conference deal with NorthPort.
Team insiders confirmed the development to Manila Bulletin as the Ateneo standout formally turns professional after a three-year tenure as a full-time national team player with Gilas and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Navarro is expected to give the team a huge boost in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup where NorthPort currently sits in the middle of the standings with an even 3-3 record. He will join veterans Arwind Santos, Kevin Ferrer along with the likes of Arvin Tolentino and JM Calma and import Prince Ibeh in the frontlines.
Donning the Gilas jersey, Navarro averaged 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in the 13 games he played spanning from the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, the Asia Cup 2022 and to the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The move also put the unpleasant episode between Navarro and the SBP behind where the former, who then signed with the KBL team Seoul Samsung Thunder, failed to gain clearance from the latter due to his contractual obligations with the Batang Pier who drafted him second overall in the 2021 PBA Gilas draft.
That sparked calls from his fellow Filipino imports playing overseas including Kiefer Ravena and Dwight Ramos in the B.League, fellow KBL imports RJ Abarrientos and even Adelaide center Kai Sotto in Australian NBL.
Navarro then issued an apology to the misunderstanding that his decision to sign overseas caused.