PBA Draft

Gilas Pilipinas cadet Will Navarro declares for PBA Draft

Martin Mendoza
Gilas Pilipinas cadet Will Navarro declares for PBA Draft

PROMISING. The 6-foot-6 Will Navarro joins the list of potential-first round picks.

Photo from UAAP

Young Gilas forward William Navarro forgoes his final season in the UAAP and joins the 2021 PBA Draft

Gilas Pilipinas and Ateneo Blue Eagles forward Will Navarro has decided to forego his final year of eligibility in the UAAP and officially declared for the 2021 PBA Draft on Saturday, January 23. 

Navarro, who is currently in the Gilas training bubble in Calamba, Laguna, confirmed the development to Rappler.

The 23-year-old Navarro saw action in the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, where the versatile swingman finished with 4 points and 2 assists in Gilas’ 93-61 victory over Thailand in November.

During his stint with the Blue Eagles, Navarro played a key role in Ateneo’s back-to-back UAAP titles in Seasons 81 and 82. 

In his first season with the defending champions, Navarro, who also played for the San Beda Red Lions early in his college career, averaged 3.5 points and 3.5 rebounds while coming off the bench. 

The 6-foot-6 Navarro emerged as one of the team’s go-to-guy the following season, averaging 7.27 points and 5.53 rebounds as a starter in the historic 16-0 Ateneo squad.

Aside from Navarro, Larry Muyang of the Letran Knights and Jamie Malonzo, who played one season for De La Salle Green Archers, have also applied for the 2021 PBA Draft.

The 6-foot-5 Muyang was an integral part of Letran’s NCAA Season 95 championship run. The burly center also suited up for the Pampanga Giant Lanterns and the San Juan Knights-Go For Gold in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

The 6-foot-6 Malonzo, on the other hand, was part of the UAAP Season 82 Mythical Team after averaging 15.77 points and 9.92 rebounds in his lone season with the Green Archers. 

The high-flying Fil-Am guard then played for the Mighty Sports Philippines in the 2020 Dubai International Tournament and the Marinnerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League. 

Navarro, Muyang and Malonzo will join Joshua Munzon, Santi Santillian, Alvin Pasaol and Troy Rike as the potential-first round selections in this year’s loaded draft class.

The deadline for the submission of application and requirements for both Fil-foreign and local players is on Wednesday, January 27. – Rappler.com

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