UAAP Finals: DLSUís Ricci Rivero just had to let the tears flow
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 29, 2017 08:28 PM
DLSUís Ricci Rivero has had quite the emotional past few days
With De La Salle University staring at a 20-point deficit in the second quarter of its do-or-die matchup with archrival Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Finals, Ricci Rivero was called for his fourth foul.
And so, with their opponents way ahead and with 3:23 remaining in the first half on Wednesday, newly-minted Mythical selection Rivero was forced back to the bench.
On his way there, Rivero’s eyes filed with tears which then, little by little, ran down his face. Recalling that moment, he said post-game, “Alam mo yung willingness mo to win tapos wala kang matulong sa teammates mo?”
Together with foul trouble, Rivero, the Green Archers’ second-year stud, has had quite the tough past few days. Apparently, he has been one in grief with kuya Prince, who was commemorating the death anniversary of his late best friend.
Also, he had also been grieving with the Paraiso family. Brendan Paraiso, the brother of Rivero’s best friend Brent, had just lost his best friend David. “Kinausap ko si Brendan na sobrang tulala last night, sabi ko, kailangan niyang ma-overcome yung negatives sa sarili niya,” he shared.
He then continued, “Sabi ko rin na I’m offering this (Game 2) for David.”
And so, the 19-year-old Rivero had “#ForDavid” written across the chest part of his warmup shirt.
Unfortunately for him, he was held back by foul trouble just as the Blue Eagles went on their strong start.
Still, Rivero, with the help of kuya Prince, kept his head in the game which was far from over. “Sabi ni kuya, take it as a positive thing. Kung ‘di ka makatulong physically on the court, try to cheer (for) our teammates,” he said.
That, he did for the rest of the first half.
And come the second half when head coach Aldin Ayo gambled him back into the game, shifty swingman Rivero did nothing but come through. Scoring 12 of his 18 points in the payoff periods, he played a big part in DLSU’s big-time comeback.
As it turns out, Rivero just had to release all of his emotions. “Sabi kasi ni kuya, kung may nafi-feel kang hatred or what, ilabas mo na lang b crying. Ilabas mo na lang lahat ngayon kasi mamayang second half, sayo na (yung game),” he shared.
Indeed, the second half belonged to Rivero and the Taft-based team.
And at the end of it all, the only tears that were there were tears of joy.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.