Alec Stockton made sure Ricci Rivero won't forget his UP debut

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 02, 2019 06:36 PM
Stockton made sure Rivero won't forget his UP debut
FEU's Alec Stockton didn't give an inch to UP's Ricci Rivero and Juan GDL

Far Eastern University’s battle cry is to “Be Brave.”

That’s exactly what Alec Stockton did on Saturday at the Ayala Malls Feliz in the UAAP 3x3 Tournament.

Not giving an inch to their more heralded opponents, the Tamaraw guard played the villain to crowd favorites Ricci Rivero and Juan Gomez de Liano.

And at one point, the antagonist – in the crowd’s eyes, at least – got under the skin of the protagonists.

With the matchup between FEU and the University of the Philippines going down the wire, Stockton fished two unsportsmanlike fouls from Rivero and as such, the latter was forced to go back to the locker room earlier than expected.

In what proved to be the disqualifying foul, Stockton’s abdomen looked like it had taken contact – the impact of which is uncertain – from Rivero’s lowered shoulder. Not long after, the former was down on the floor and the latter was ejected.

Asked about what happened, Stockton answered, “He probably just got emotional. I don’t blame him though, it’s a physical game. That’s what happens when you play basketball.”

In the end, however, it was the Fighting Maroons who got the last laugh and as the final buzzer sounded, Juan GDL was seen giving a gesture that seemed like he was shooing away Stockton.

For the FEU enforcer, the UP star earned the right to do what he did. “I mean, he won the game so I give him props. It’s part of the game,” he said.

He then continued, “When you win, you get bragging rights. You don’t have to do anything extra but if you win, you can do whatever you want.”

Make no mistake, however, of thinking that Stockton crosses the line with his physical play. As he put it, “I just try to give my best effort to give my team a chance to win. We just try to do the best that we can.”

He then continued, “Nothing extra. We don’t throw punches or anything, but just play hard and be competitive. That’s about it.”

In that case, is he basically the Tamaraws’ new Ron Dennison? “I’m not necessarily [following in his footsteps]. I just try to go hard. That’s it,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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