By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Gilas Pilipinas cadet William Navarro’s ultimate plan of playing in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) will have to wait a little longer.
After reports of a blockbuster signing with the KBL squad Seoul Samsung for the upcoming season on October 16, 2022, the former Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagle swingman is facing eligibility issues after failing to get a Letter of Clearance (LOC) from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
It was found out that Navarro is still under contract with the SBP until March 2023 and has played all FIBA windows under the men’s national team.
Multiple sources added that an appeal was made regarding the situation but the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) denied it and clarified that Navarro will have to finish his contract with SBP first.
Last July, KBL team Samsung publicly announced that they signed Navarro for the upcoming season and are expecting the swingman to grace the team in October.
Within the two-month gap after Samsung’s announcement, no issue was raised on Navarro including his LOC matters involving the SBP.
Navarro spent his time playing for Gilas Pilipinas after his stint with the Blue Eagles and was also included in Chot Reyes’ pool in the past FIBA windows.
Last year, the two-way small forward was selected by the NorthPort Batang Pier franchise during the Gilas special rookie draft and is yet to make his debut in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
With his KBL debut this year already uncertain, Navarro is yet to confirm his new plans and will most likely render his services to the national team until his contract expires.