MANILA, Philippines, September 23 ------ Gilas Pilipinas forward Will Navarro has issued an apology to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas with hopes of seeking a common ground in the future regarding his contract that spoiled his planned overseas stint.
Breaking his silence on the issue that has put the local federation under fire, Navarro admitted his shortcomings as he recognized the “existing contract” in the way of his supposed Korean Basketball League (KBL) stint with the Seoul Samsung Thunders.
Navarro, 25, personally made the apology for the “error, misunderstanding and miscommunication caused by my signing up with the Samsung Thunders of Korea” in a meeting with SBP executive director Sonny Barrios. “I now fully recognize that I have an existing contract with the SBP and am aware of its provision regarding the rights of my PBA Drafting Team through the PBA special draft, the NorthPort Batang Pier,” said Navarro after also sitting down with Gilas coach Chot Reyes and team manager Butch Antonio. The existing contract was the reason why SBP wasn’t able to grant Navarro a clearance, a FIBA policy in player transfer, that eventually shelved his jump to KBL.
A product of Ateneo in the UAAP, Navarro entered into a pact with SBP last year as part of the special PBA-Gilas draft before apparently committing to Seoul last July. Even the FIBA, after reviewing the positions of SBP and Korean Basketball Association (KBA) that supervises the KBL, decided in favor of the Philippine federation. In the middle of this development, Navarro still wishes for a chance to iron things out in a bid to “pursue his dream and his family’s” if permitted.