THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has added Will Navarro to the special Gilas draft on March 14 after a change of heart.
His late inclusion raised the number of Gilas draftees this year to four as the former Ateneo big man joined Fil-Ams Jordan Heading and Tzaddy Rangel as well as former UP player Jaydee Tungcab in the special pool.
The 6-6 forward initially begged off from the special draft, "but his stint inside the Gilas bubble has convinced him that this would be the best direction for his development as a basketball player," said the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
The SBP stressed though, Navarro would be the final addition to the Gilas pool.
"The SBP strongly believes the program we have now would give us the opportunity to build the best team possible for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup," said SBP president Al S. Panlilio. "This is why it's important for us to get the commitment of talented players to join the pool."
The country's governing body for basketball initially asked the PBA board to allow it to name a 'minimum of three and maximum of five players' for inclusion in this year's special Gilas draft.
Terrafirma will be selecting first in the draft followed by NorthPort, and NLEX, which gets its turn at the Nos. 3 and 4 picks.
"Again, the SBP thanks the PBA board of governors and Commissioner Willie Marcial for their flexibility in this matter and for allowing Navarro to join the Gilas pool instead," Panlilio added.
"We know a lot of teams had their eyes on Navarro, but the board of governors saw past that to consider the needs of Gilas, He will be the last addition to our pool to give the PBA teams enough time to map their game-plan for the upcoming draft."