PBA: Ricci Rivero regains groove in fourth to help Phoenix win in debut
MANILA, Philippines–Ricci Rivero faked left, drove right, and made a tough three-point play midway through the fourth quarter in his PBA debut on Friday.
The Phoenix rookie then stared directly at the camera in celebration underneath the basket after nearly hitting it when he came down.
“For me, that was just me bouncing back because I felt I wasn’t doing a good job in the middle part of the game so it’s not really a big deal, me looking at the camera,” said Rivero after helping the Fuel Masters rally past the NLEX Road Warriors, 113-101, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“I feel like I just got caught up with my emotions and those things really happen for the players not just in the PBA but also in the UAAP, NCAA and even in the NBA. I was just overwhelmed because we were bouncing back at that time.”
Rivero entered the game at the eight-minute mark of the opening period and immediately made his presence felt with seven points in just four minutes.
But he went scoreless in the second and third quarters while also committing some turnovers.
The 25-year-old guard, however, got his rhythm back in the final frame where he scored eight points capped by the three-point play as part of a 20-2 finishing kick by Phoenix.
“I gained a lot of confidence at that time and I bounced back along with the team so I’m just thankful. It was really a big boost for me and the team because we really needed those two points and I also sank the bonus free throw.”
Phoenix’s Ricci Rivero on his debut and the squad’s win over NLEX. | via Melo Fuertes/Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Friday, November 10, 2023