No. 5 pick Zavier Lucero raring to get back to action and join NorthPort

Zavier Lucero is picked fifth overall in the 2023 PBA Draft by NorthPort Batang Pier.

Zavier Lucero is picked fifth overall in the 2023 PBA Draft by NorthPort Batang Pier. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Zavier Lucero is determined to make the most of the opportunity after Northport chose him as 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’s looking forward to proving his worth with NorthPort when he gets back into top shape.

“I’m just excited, really happy to hear my name called. I’m ready to get healthy and show everything I need to show on the court. I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” said Lucero, who is currently in California, via video call.

“I think, for me, I’m going to bring a lot of what you’ve seen in the past but I’m hoping to show a lot more.”

U-NIBERSIDAD NG PILIPINAS, STAND UP ✊ WATCH: Fighting Maroon Zavier Lucero completes the Top 5 picks of the 2023 #PBADraft after being picked by Northport Batang Pier. | via Melo FuertesVisit for updates, stories and more.

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Sunday, September 17, 2023

Lucero said that he’s nearing full recovery.

“I’m close, I’m well over halfway, according to my PT (physical therapist) so I’m hoping to be out there sooner rather than later. I’m ready to put on the Northport jersey to go to work,” “Hopefully, once I get out there, I’ll be a hundred percent and turn some heads.”

The 6-foot-6 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 inserted in the game with 0.7 seconds left to sink two free throws in a symbolic gesture.

Prior to his injury, Lucero was key guy 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 chosen by the Batang Pier in the first round is Cade Flores from Arellano with the 11th pick.

There’s currently no confirmed timetable yet for Lucero’s return to the country.

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