MANILA, Philippines – Zavier Lucero is determined to make the most of the opportunity after Northport selected him with the fifth pick in the 2023 PBA Draft.
Batang Pier used their high pick to select the University of the Philippines product, who is still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear he suffered last year.
And he is looking forward to proving his worth at NorthPort when he is back in top form.
“I’m just excited, really happy to hear my name called. I’m ready to get healthy and show everything I need to on the field. I’m just grateful for this opportunity,” Lucero, who is currently in California, said via video call.
“I think I’ll bring a lot of what you’ve seen in the past, but I hope to show a lot more.”
Fighting Maroon Zavier Lucero is the top 5 of the #PBADraft of 2023. | via Melo Fuertes Visit sports.inquirer.net for more updates.
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Sunday, September 17, 2023
Lucero said he is almost making a full recovery.
“I’m almost there, I’m well over half way, according to my PT (physiotherapist), so I’m hoping to get out sooner rather than later. I’m ready to put on the Northport jersey to go to work.”
The 6-foot-4 forward suffered the injury in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 85 Finals against Ateneo in December 2022.
In his last game with UP, an injured Lucero was brought in with 0.7 seconds left in the game to sink two free throws in a symbolic gesture.
Prior to his injury, Lucero was a key figure for the Fighting Maroons with averages of 11.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game under coach Goldwin Monteverde.
Also selected by Batang Pier in the first round is Cade Flores of Arellano with the 11th pick.
There is currently no confirmed timetable for Lucero’s return to the country.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints or questions, please contact us.