May 25, 2024

NorthPort rookie Zavier Lucero to miss PBA Commissioner’s Cup, targets All-Filipino debut

NorthPort rookie Zavier Lucero to miss PBA Commissioner’s Cup, targets All-Filipino debut

The NorthPort Batang Pier took a chance on Zavier Lucero in the very deep, richly talented 2023 PBA Draft, taking him fifth overall despite him still recovering from ACL surgery. And it appears coach Bonnie Tan, the rest of the Batang Pier, and the team’s fans will have to wait until 2024 before they can see the 6-foot-6 dynamo donning the orange and white.

That’s because the former UP Fighting Maroon is taking his time with rehab to make sure he is in the pink of health before returning to action—this time as a professional in the PBA.

The good news is that the recovery process is doing great.

“It’s going really well,” Lucero told Dyan Castillejo and Quinito Henson in Thursday’s episode of Playitright TV. “It’s a long process, so I take my wins when I can get them. But it’s hard sometimes. But I’m almost nine months through the process since my surgery in January and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that’s for sure.”

Put simply, Lucero is thisclose to a return. And he admits to feeling very excited about it. Still, he is being careful and calculated—wary of the possibility of reinjury if he rushes things.

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“For me, with an injury like this, you see too often people rush it and reinjure themselves. I have time to be able to make sure I do this right, so hopefully, I get to do this only one time,” Lucero pointed out. “I’d hate to do it again. But, yeah, the plan for me is to not rush, make sure I’m a hundred percent, and I can hit the ground running.”

That time will come. But for NorthPort fans, Lucero’s debut probably feels like a case of so near yet so far.  

“November 5th is too soon, but the second conference is when I should be suited up,” he added.

If it is any consolation for the team and its fans, Lucero might be well worth waiting for.