Ricci Rivero On Playing For UP and Learning To Fit Into A Team “Full of Stars”

Many were heartbroken to see the University of the Philippines lose out to the University of Santo Tomas last Wednesday night. It was a do-or-die match between the Fighting Maroons and the Growling Tigers for a spot in the UAAP Men’s Basketball Championship Finals. A favorite for the season, there were probably none more disappointed than the players themselves.

Yet even facing defeat, transferee Ricci Rivero was able to show gratitude at being given the chance to play for his school. “I was thanking God for everything, for giving us the chance to represent the school that we love and being able to play the sport that we love the most, and being able to play with players, and a coach who is really one of the best here in the country,” he shared.

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Rivero was also quick to look ahead and evaluate what could be extracted from this loss, moving forward. “We still have so much to improve on,” he admitted. “If winning is something that we will only feel, it’s gonna be hard for us to learn kasi it’s harder to learn when you’re winning all the time and not feeling the pain and being able to learn a lot from losing.”

On having to adjust to a new team, Rivero shares that he tried his best. Having transferred from De La Salle University, where he played for two years, his experience with UP was quite different for him.

“For me, I gave everything. I learned how to adjust, especially on a team that’s full of stars. I really focused on defense,” he stated. “Though I have lapses because honestly I am not really good at playing the lockdown defender kind of thing. I embraced my role a lot kasi I know this is gonna help me, not just as a basketball player – adjusting and thinking about the bigger picture and not just about myself.”

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