Ricci Rivero joins UP Maroons
Former De La Salle University star Ricci Rivero has transferred to University of the Philippines.
Rivero, who was forced to leave La Salle after the school cited that the versatile swingman violated university policies regarding endorsement deals, announced his move to Diliman Friday on his Twitter account.
“When you’re down, there’s nowhere to go but UP! DILIMAN here I come!” Rivero said in his tweet.
In a statement, Rivero said his family, friends and Gilas teammates played a part in him opting to be a Fighting Maroon.
“They told me that UP Maroons fans were crazy about the team and were there for them, win or lose. I saw that, too, when I played against them,” said Rivero.
“UP students and alumni were so loud you didn’t know if they were up by ten or if their opponents were up by ten,” Rivero added in Filipino.
UP has been a major player in recruitment the past couple years, having attracted big names like Nigerian import Bright Akhuetie and NCAA juniors MVP Will Gozum.
Rivero will serve his one-year residency first before being allowed to suit up for UP in the UAAP and his addition certainly makes the Fighting Maroons a legitimate championship contender.
“I am thankful that the University of the Philippines has offered me a chance to continue chasing my dreams, and I am honored to announce that I have accepted their invitation to join the UP Fighting Maroons.”
The feeling is mutual with the UP community embracing the 20-year-old with open arms.
UP President Danilo Concepcion, members of the UP Maroons, alumni and students welcomed Rivero to UP along with longtime Maroons supporters Robina Gokongwei-Pe, Pato Gregorio, and Jonvic Remulla.
“[The addition of Rivero] is consistent with the University’s pursuit of excellence in all fields of endeavor,” said Concepcion.
The arrival of Rivero, one of the best young talents in the country, also comes with big expectations and high hopes.
“The UAAP men’s basketball crown has eluded us for over thirty years, and we believe this development brings us a step closer to ending this title drought,” said NowheretogobutUP Foundation Chairperson Agaton Uvero.
Rivero officially left La Salle in April, saying it was “time to move forward” after a controversial start to the year.