He’s ready to press the reset button on his professional career.
A couple of years before declaring for the PBA Draft, Ricci Rivero was a popular collegiate star who won two UAAP titles. He got his first chip as a rookie member of the De La Salle Green Archers and got another one with the UP Fighting Maroons. At that time, he was undoubtedly among the country’s high-profile hoops prospects coming out of the amateurs.
He then decided to turn pro with the Taoyuan Pilots over in Taiwan’s P. League+. Long story short, things didn’t pan out for Rivero. He suffered an undisclosed injury before the season started, which caused him to part ways with the Taiwanese club.
“’Yung sa Taiwan, we were really looking forward for it to be successful, it’s just that, ‘yun nga, nagkaroon ng injury,” Rivero told One PH’s Power & Play on Saturday.
“That was during the preseason so, medyo kaunti na lang ‘yung time to get back. Napag-usapan na rin namin ng management at ng team na uuwi na lang ako, dito na lang ako magpagaling,” he added.
A year later, the former UAAP standout has become a PBA hopeful, who’s glad to for the opportunity to have a fresh start. He even waxed religious as he continued to speak in the Power & Play interview.
“I feel really happy din kasi ang tagal kong inisip noon kung bakit hindi natuloy, ‘yung mga gano’n, bakit hindi natuloy ‘yung laro ko dito. As long as we do naman our part, nandiyan naman si Papa Jesus para i-guide tayo papunta sa right path,” claimed Rivero.
“Sobrang masaya ako na nakabalik na ako at maayos na ‘yung inury ko, he continued.
Accompanied by highly touted talents in this year’s draft, such as Ateneo Blue Eagles product Raffy Verano, UE Red Warriors sharpshooter Luis Villegas, and Ken Tuffin, who’s had a pro stint in New Zealand, Rivero seems focused on making it to the PBA more than anything else.