Ricci Rivero was supposed to play for the Taoyuan Pilots in Taiwan’s P.League+, but he was released due to a nagging injury. PBA PHOTO
MANILA – Rookie aspirant Ricci Rivero is ready to showcase his talents to any team that will select him in the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft this Sunday at the Market! Market! in Taguig City.
According to the former University of the Philippines Fighting Maroon, he doesn’t mind which round he gets picked in or which team selects him as long as he will fit in that team’s system.
“Kahit saan naman ako, basta doon ako sa magfi-fit ako sa system. Why not?” Rivero said in an interview with Tiebreaker Times. “Mas nae-excite talaga ako malaman kung anong team and mag-training.”
“I haven’t been in a team for quite a while now. And I am just excited to be back, kasi ang tagal ko nag-prepare for this,” he added. “Mas na-aatat lang ako ngayon na makabalik kasi for the longest time, nagba-basketball ako araw-araw. Tapos, masa-stop lang.”
Rivero, who also had a stint with the De La Salle University Green Archers in the UAAP, was supposed to play for the Taoyuan Pilots in Taiwan’s P.League+, but he was released due to a nagging injury.
“Mahirap kasi hindi ko rin matatapos ‘yung sa Taiwan dahil sa injury, so nag-recover na lang ako,” the 24-year-old Rivero said. “Buong summer, ‘yun lang, focus talaga ako roon sa pag-recover.”
Rivero managed to recover from that injury, and he had a brief campaign with Blackwater Bossing in the Third Conference of PBA 3×3 Season 2 last February.
“Naglaro ako ng PBA 3×3 for the Blackwater team. Then after that, ‘yun, focus lang ulit sa skills and to be in shape,” said Rivero. “And, ‘yun nga to prepare for the PBA Rookie Draft.”
“Now is the time na masasabi ko na ready na rin,” added the two-time UAAP champion. “For the past years, ‘yun naman ‘yung iniisip namin ng family and management, na kung okay na ba, kung ready na ba. Excited ako.”
Rivero is one of the top prospects in the upcoming PBA draft, which is expected to be one of the deepest in recent memory with 128 applicants./PN