UAAP 82: Rivero's all-out effort rubs off on history-making UP

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 28, 2019 04:03 PM
UAAP: Rivero's all-out effort rubs off on history-making UP
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

For the third time in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament, Ricci Rivero delivered a season-best scoring output for the University of the Philippines.

Firing 12 points to go along with five rebounds, Rivero was a big part of the Fighting Maroons' gutsy win against De La Salle University - a gusty win that sent the former to the second-seed and the latter out of the playoff picture.

More than his scoring output, though, it was the talented transferees' all-out effort that got the attention of head coach Bo Perasol. "Ricci's contribution wasn't just on points, but he was rebounding and defending and his mindset of winning just rubbed off on the team," he said.

He then continued, "Sometimes, he goes out of the play, but you cannot question his intention. At the end of the day, his confidence, his presence of mind, his contribution was huge."

For his part, Rivero doubled down on his mentor's statement and said that he will only do whatever State U needs him to do. As he put it, "I'm just really thinking of what I can contribute sa team especially sa defense. This season kasi, I don't really think much about offense."

He then continued, "Everyone in the team is capable of making their shots. What we need is defense and that's what I'm doing."

Indeed, with the 6-foot-2 swingman bringing the energy and effort while guarding the likes of Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut, the rest of UP only followed suit and together, all of them marched towards history. "Personally, it's really satisfying because we really worked hard for this one," he said.

And the Fighting Maroons are far from finished. "It doesn't end here. Our mentality is the next game, the next dribble, the next pass. That's what we have to think about especially as we still have Ateneo coming up next," Rivero said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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