La Salle star Ricci Rivero tops Twitter list of most tweeted-about athletes in 2017
Ricci Rivero emerged No. 1 as athletes from La Salle and Ateneo dominated a list released by Twitter on the most tweeted-about sports personalities for the year. Warren Salvacion

IT was no surprise that Ateneo and La Salle athletes dominated an official list released on Tuesday by Twitter on the most tweeted about Filipino athletes for 2017.

What came as a surprise was the one at No. 1.

Ricci Rivero, a sophomore La Salle forward playing in only his first UAAP men's basketball finals, emerged as the most tweeted-about Filipino athlete for the year, according to Twitter.

The flamboyant forward's following on the micro-blogging site skyrocketed to 250,000 at the end of the Ateneo-La Salle finals, his @riccirivero06 handle no doubt getting a lot of online mileage after his heroics in a Game Two win by La Salle.

Placing second was former Ateneo Lady Eagles star Alyssa Valdez (@AlyssaValdez) while coming in third was iconic boxer Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao), who got most of his mentions following a controversial loss to Aussie Jeff Horn last July 2.

Another former Ateneo volleyball star, Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho), placed fourth, mainly from tweets related to her new role and following as host of the ABS-CBN morning show Umagang Kay Ganda.

Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena) placed fifth on a year when he finally made the jump to the PBA and the national seniors' team after a stellar collegiate career at Ateneo while his younger brother Thirdy (@ThirdyRavenaaa), hero of Ateneo's UAAP title conquest, came in 10th.

Mika Reyes (@mikareyesss), who led the La Salle Lady Spikers to a championship in her final UAAP season, remains popular on Twitter at sixth place followed by three Green Archers players, namely Ricci's older brother Prince Rivero (PriiinceRivero), Brent Paraiso (@brentparaiso), and Kib Montalbo (@kibmontalbo).

The popularity of the UAAP, and of course the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry, also manifested in the list of most tweeted sports-related hashtags where Ateneo's #OBF (one big fight) battle cry, La Salle's #animo chant, #UAAPSeason80 as well as #GoldandGloryAteneo made it to the Top 10.

However, the No. 1 on the list was the #NBAFinals, followed by #UAAPCDC2017 of the just-concluded UAAP Cheerdance Competition, and #PacquiaoHorn of the controversial Pacquiao-Horn fight. 

Gilas Pilipinas also scored in terms of hashtags, with #LabanPilipinas and #GilasPilipinas also making the elite list.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph