Gilas player William Navarro not allowed to join Korean league due to existing contract — SBP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Sunday said the international basketball federation (FIBA) has not given William Navarro the clearance to join the Korean Basketball Association (KBA).

The KBA recently requested a letter of clearance for Navarro to play with the Korean league’s Samsung Thunders, but the SBP said he has an existing contract which entails him to play for the Philippine national team and be assigned only to the North Port Batang Pier, his drafting team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

“After carefully reviewing the positions of the KBA and the SBP, FIBA issued its decision on Sept. 12, 2022 not to allow Mr. Navarro to join the Samsung Thunders,” SBP executive director and spokesperson Renauld Barrios said in a statement. “FIBA upheld that he still has an existing, legally binding contract preventing him from doing so.”

He added that the association respects players’ rights to look for better opportunities but they should also follow agreements they have entered into.

“The SBP does not intend to unduly prevent players from furthering their careers with other teams here or overseas. But it is a fundamental and ethical practice for players to honor their existing contracts with their mother teams,” Barrios pointed out.