FILOIL: Paras, Rivero still in process of getting to know UP teammates better

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 05, 2019 07:36 PM
Paras, Rivero still in process of getting to know teammates
Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero are still adjusting to their new teammates in UP and vice versa

The Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero show is now showing for the University of the Philippines in the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament.

Only, their official big league debuts weren't what they would have wanted, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

Paras and Rivero, both transferees, showed the way for the Fighting Maroons who were without Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan as well as court general Jun Manzo and big man Will Gozum, but it was all for naught as they fell to perennial champion San Beda University.

Paras and Rivero each had 18 points, but also combined to shoot 11-of-25 from the field while committing seven turnovers.

Rivero's day was also cut short as he fouled out with still three minutes left in the third quarter.

Of course, new-look UP is still in the process of aligning all its stars.

And of course, that will take time. "San Beda's really good so I think we just have to prepare a lot more. We just need a lot more games together," Rivero said.

After all, Rivero had just moved to Diliman in May 2018 while Paras followed two months later.

Add to that the fact that Juan GDL, their primary playmaker, was out and growing pains were only to be expected for State U.

That is exactly why, for his part, Paras is only excited to keep at it. "I'm looking forward to the next games. We're not really looking to just win, (but) we are really looking to get better," he shared.

He then continued, "You have to build a connection and gel together so that is what we have to work on in the next games."

Paras made it a point to say, however, that whether or not they are in full force, the Fighting Maroons need to go all-out. "That's not an excuse because we are 16-strong. We just have to get used to playing even if we are not complete," he said.

He then continued, "It's 16 people in this team and not just five."

And when that become a habit for them, there is no doubt that State U will be a force to reckon with. As Paras put it, "We're really good. We just have to get used to everything."

Whatever it is, the two transferees are nothing but glad to, at long last, wear the maroon and green together. "It feels great to play with them. I've been with them for almost a year and I'm looking forward to playing with them a lot more," Rivero said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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