FIBA WORLD CUP: Ricci Rivero hopes to make impact for Gilas as playmaker
Philip Matel on Nov 20, 2018 05:58 AM
Coach Yeng Guiao was once impressed with the skillset of Ricci Rivero but knows that there is still room for improvement.
Playing outside his usual role, Ricci Rivero hopes he could make a positive impact with Gilas Pilipinas as he ventures into a new role.
During his days playing for La Salle Greenhills and eventually the De La Salle Green Archers, Rivero was known as a slashing guard, who had a mix of athletic finishes inside, utilizing his deadly eurostep.
But now the 20-year old is working on a different aspect of offense: setting up plays for his teammates, which he did in his minutes playing for the Philippines in their 98-92 loss against Jordan Monday evening in Pasig.
Despite playing only a few minutes, the redshirted UP Fighting Maroon got a few passes along his way, though was not able to make an assist.
He however scored four points through his signature style of flashy plays towards the goal.
"Like what I’ve said before, ang focus ko is to create open shots for my teammates kasi lahat naman silang nasa line-up, capable of making their shots," Rivero said after the game.
Despite the limited playing time, the 6'1” guard was very much thankful that he even got a chance at cracking the 20-man roster, an opportunity to learn from the country's best cagers.
"Maging part lang ng pool na ito, sobrang happy na ako. Yun, kanina sobrang naging.. inisip ko lang talaga. Lord, ikaw na bahala sa akin. Kung anong makakabuti," he shared.
For national team Yeng Guiao, who has previously spoken fondly of Rivero, was once again impressed with the skillset of the young player, but knows that there is still more room for improvement.
"Actually he was able to prove that his play is at the level of the guys here. He could have performed better if I felt he was fouled in a few situations where he could have contributed a little bit more," spoke Guiao.
"But ano siya he's proven that he can play at this level although he's playing in college. He can play at this level."
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