PBA Philippine Cup

William Navarro believes NorthPort capable of reaching PBA finals

Delfin Dioquino

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William Navarro believes NorthPort capable of reaching PBA finals

PASS. William Navarro in action for the NorthPort Batang Pier in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

William Navarro sees something special in this present NorthPort group as the Batang Pier look to make a splash in the PBA Philippine Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Comebacking NorthPort forward William Navarro believes this current Batang Pier group has what it takes to accomplish what has not been done in franchise history.

Navarro is convinced NorthPort can go all the way to the finals even after the team opened the PBA Philippine Cup with a 107-100 overtime loss to NLEX on Friday, March 1.

The return of Navarro from a knee injury and the entry of rookie Zavier Lucero have provided the Batang Pier additional firepower in their bid to make a splash after failing to make it past the quarterfinals in each of the last seven conferences.

NorthPort made the semifinals just twice in franchise history: the 2015-2016 Philippine Cup and 2019 Governors’ Cup.

“I see great potential in our team. We’re tall and we can all play the running game,” said Navarro in a mix of Filipino and English.

“For me, this team can reach the finals, as long as we can be more sure of what we’re trying to do within our system.”

Back in PBA action after missing the last two conferences, the 6-foot-6 Navarro delivered for the Batang Pier with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds to go with 2 blocks.

Meanwhile, 6-foot-6 Lucero finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks in his debut for NorthPort after also being sidelined by a knee injury.

The two form a dangerous triumvirate of talented forwards alongside 6-foot-5 Arvin Tolentino, who showed the way in the loss with 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

For Navarro, the Batang Pier only have to develop better chemistry and minimize their errors in order to contend with the heavyweights of the league.

“We just need to jell as a team and polish our connection with each other,” said Navarro.

The fact that NorthPort gave the Road Warriors a run for their money by forcing an extra period gives Navarro a sign of good things to come.

“I’m not sad. We fought until the end. You can see that there is something special in this group.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.