Feb 29, 2024

Batang Pier parade top rookie Lucero, fit-again Navarro

FIRST round pick Zav Lucero is set to make his Northport debut in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday after being given the go signal to finally play following the ACL injury he suffered more than a year ago.

Lucero, taken no. 5 overall in the last rookie draft, has been activated by the Batang Pier for their 7:30 p.m. encounter against the NLEX Road Warriors.

Coach Bonnie Tan said the former University of the Philippines stalwart has begun practicing with the team since Monday after arriving from the US last week.

Lucero tore his left ACL in Game 2 of the UAAP men's basketball finals in December of 2022 between the Fighting Maroons and the Ateneo Blue Eagles, who later dethroned UP, 75-68.

The 6-foot-6 Lucero, a former UAAP Mythical Team member, went to the US and undergo operation and rehabilitation, making him missed the draft last September.

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But despite his health situation, Northport management signed him to a two-year contract.

Also expected to finally suit up for the Batang Pier is another ACL casualty in William Navarro.

The product of Ateneo De Manila went down with the injury at about the same time as Lucero during Game 2 of the 2022 Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals series between Barangay Ginebra and Northport.

Navarro has likewise been cleared to play by doctors as he already began practicing with the Batang Pier.

Navarro and Lucero should come in handy for a young Northport side oozing with talent behind a roster that has the likes of Arvin Tolentino, Joshua Munzon, JM Calma, Paul Zamar, Kris Rosales, Cade Flores, Fran Yu, Brent Paraiso, among others. (RG)