Rivero sees former UE player Pasaol as his basketball influence
Mark Escarlote on May 25, 2020 03:05 PM
University of the Philippines guard Ricci Rivero shares how former University of the East star Alvin Pasaol influenced him to improve his game.
Former University of the East star Alvin Pasaol is Ricci Rivero’s spirit animal.
The University of the Philippines standout considers the 3x3 basketball sensation as the player who left a lasting impact and influence in his game.
Speaking in the ‘Athletes’ Tribune’ podcast, Rivero shared how the burly UE forward pushed him to improve and be better.
He recalled how the do-it-all Pasaol gave him fits when the Red Warrior bullied his way to a career-high 49 points three years ago when Rivero was still a part of the then defending champion De La Salle University.
“Siguro 1 to 5 si Alvin Pasaol. Kasi grabe ‘di talaga siya yung usual na player eh. I’ll give yung first five talaga kay Kuya Alvin,” Rivero, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Monday, said when asked about his top 5 toughest UAAP rivals. “Sobrang dami ko ring natutunan sa kanya kung paano yung UAAP career ko lalo na nu’ng nasa La Salle ako.”
Known for his quick hands and defense, Rivero was one of the players sent in by then head coach Aldin Ayo to mark Pasaol, who was wreaking havoc for UE on the defensive end that memorable Season 80 match on October 4, 2017.
Rivero could only scratch his head while Pasaol effortlessly punched through his defense each time he had to switch to stop the rampaging Red Warrior.
“Tsina-challenge ako ni Coach Aldin to try and stop nga si Alvin,” he said. “Parang may time pa ata alam ko na ‘yung most points scored ata sa UAAP kay Pasaol tapos kalaban kami nu’n. ‘Yun pa ata yunng sobrang lakas ng lineup ng La Salle eh.”
Indeed, Pasaol was unstoppable that game even for a solid Green Archers side that had former Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala and Abu Tratter.
Pasaol connected 20-of-30 from the field and broke the 15-year league record held by NorthPort and Letran assistant coach Jeff Napa, who registered 43 points while playing for National University in 2002.
“Nu’ng time na ‘yun ‘di ko talaga alam ang gagawin ko parang dun ko rin nalaman na naggu-grow ako kasi sobrang daming moments na, ‘Ah pwede pala yun?’ Na ‘Oo nga no pwede pala ‘yan. Grabe nagawa niya mga ganun.’ Doon mo mari-realize na parang one step ahead siya sa amin,” said Rivero.
Unfortunately, Pasaol’s effort wasn’t enough to lift the Red Warriors as DLSU took the win, 106-100.
But it left a lasting impression on Rivero.
“That moment na ‘yun pinanood ko ‘yung videos for how many times and I try to understand them kung paano niya ginagawa, paano niya basahin ang basketball niya,” he said.
That match turned Rivero into a fan of Pasaol.
He saw an inspiration in Pasaol. Rivero learned a lot from him that day.
Now playing for the Fighting Maroons, Rivero will always be thankful for the lessons he learned while taking on the Big Red Machine from UE.
“Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanya as a player and as a young boy who looks up to someone na nakalaban niya,” said Rivero.
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