Ricci Rivero, former Archer and Maroon, thrilled for La Salle-UP UAAP Finals
MANILA, Philippines — Ricci Rivero is happy for both of his schools–University of the Philippines and La Salle–as they clash for the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals starting on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Rivero won his first championship with La Salle during his rookie year in Season 78 seven years ago and ended his career with another title with University of the Philippines in Season 84.
Rivero is thrilled for both sides with the Green Archers and Fighting Maroons set for a title showdown beginning Wednesday.
“Actually, sobrang excited ako for both teams kasi first sa UP kasi yun talaga yung goal nila and nakikita ko yun ever since and at least nandoon na sila ngayon syempre di yun yung reason for them to stop,” said Rivero.
“Sa La Salle naman sobrang excited ako kasi sobra yung pag-peak nila this season, na-sweep nila yung second round coming into Final Four they beat NU by a lot,” he added. “Kitang kita natin paano na-dominate ng both teams yung league diba. I’m excited kasi parehong deserving yung nandon sa spot. I’m happy for La Salle kasi at last nakabalik na rin sila sa finals.”
When asked which side he’d be sitting on when he watches, the Phoenix Fuel Masters rookie in the PBA said he still doesn’t know if he’ll make it for the finals opener at Mall of Asia Arena as it coincides with their game against Terrafirma at Araneta Coliseum.
“Actually di ko pa yun iniisip. Ngayon iniisip ko muna kung paano ako manonood kasi sabay ng game namin sa Wednesday kaya kami ni [Jason Perkins],” he said. “Ako excited ako for both teams and sana maging maayos yung game, walang masaktan para rin tuloy tuloy let’s say umabot ng Game 3 or what para lang exciting pa rin.
Six years after leaving La Salle to transfer to UP, Rivero is honored to receive his 2016 ring with the Green Archers under Aldin Ayo and led by Season Finals MVP Jeron Teng.
“[The 2016 championship] din yung naging motivation ko and inspiration ko na coming into previous seasons ko after the first season. Yung sarap sa feeling magchampion diba and I’m just really happy and glad na nakita ko ulit yung mga taong kasama ko during that journey,” Rivero said. “Ako ever since naman sobrang naging thankful kami sa community. I’m just happy to be back kasi I haven’t been here since the day I left.”