AND then there was four.
Following his stint with the Gilas Pilipinas training pool in a bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, big man William Navarro decided to make a U-turn and agreed to be included as part of the Special Gilas Draft on March 14.
The 6-foot-6 former Ateneo standout will now be the fourth player who agreed to be part of the special draft after Jaydee Tungcab, Jordan Heading, and Tzaddy Rangel were earlier named in the pool.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) stressed though, Navarro will be the final addition to the Gilas pool for the coming PBA draft.
"William Navarro initially begged off from joining (Gilas), but his stint inside the Gilas Pilipinas training bubble has convinced him that this would be the best direction for his development as a basketball player," said SBP President Al S. Panlilio.
The Special Gilas Draft will follow the same order as the regular draft, with Terrafirma owning the no. 1 selection, followed by NorthPort, and the next two by NLEX.
The last-minute addition of Navarro definitely altered plans of teams for the coming draft after the SBP initially announced it will only tap three players out of 97 rookie hopefuls for inclusion in the Gilas pool.
Panlilio was quick to offer his gratitude for the understanding of the PBA Board.
"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," said SBP chief.
"We know that a lot of teams had their eyes on Navarro, but the Board of Governors saw past that to consider the needs of Gilas," Panlilio added. "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." (RG)