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Pido tempers expectations


NorthPort will not be expecting much from Will Navarro until he plays his first official game in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.

Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio said the 25-year-old Navarro just started training with them over the weekend, making it hard for him to asses what he is capable of bringing to the table.

Navarro’s decision to join the Batang Pier is a fitting end to his contract saga.

After playing for Gilas Pilipinas, the former Ateneo de Manila University stalwart was tapped by the Batang Pier with the second pick of the special draft last year.

But instead of joining his mother team in the PBA, Navarro negotiated a contract with Seoul Samsung in the Korean Basketball League, prompting the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to raise a howl.

No less than SBP executive director Sonny Barrios reminded Navarro that he still has a contract that will last until March 2023 so he has no choice but to play for the team that picked him in the special Gilas draft, which is the Batang Pier.

Eventually, Navarro apologized, saying that he will honor the contract.

With the controversy now a thing of the past, Jarencio couldn’t wait to have Navarro into his squad.

“He just trained with us last Saturday,” Jarencio told Daily Tribune in a phone conversation.

“I can’t see what he can give to us since he has yet to play his first official game in the PBA.”

Navarro will be joining a loaded Batang Pier squad that has veterans Arwind, Santos, Jeff Chan, Roi Sumang and Art de la Cruz.

He also shares the forward spot with import Prince Ibeh as well as rising star JM Calma.

Jarencio said Navarro will start suiting up for them when they face San Miguel Beer on Wednesday.

“He will be playing the three and four spots. Let’s see what he can do come Wednesday,” Jarencio said.

NorthPort team manager Bonnie Tan said Navarro will be available for Gilas Pilipinas duties if his services are needed.

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