RICCI Rivero will not be idle this summer after all as he is set to see action for the Gilas cadets in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup this month.
National coach Chot Reyes said Rivero is part of the Gilas pool for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup, which means he can play for the team that will be fielded in the Filoil preseason tournament.
Reyes said Rivero showed up in Gilas cadets’ first practice on Monday in preparation for the Filoil tournament.
“He is there. Wala naman na siya sa La Salle. He was at practice (on Monday),” said Reyes in an interview with reporters on Tuesday during a welcome dinner for the Batang Gilas side that finished fourth in the Fiba Under-16 Asia Championship in China.
Rivero has already attended Gilas practice even before announcing the decision to leave La Salle.
Reyes said all of the players from the pool can play in the Filoil preseason as the team is not required to submit a final line-up for the tournament.
“Everyone in (the) 23 for 23 (pool) is part of it. Hindi namin kailangan mag-name ng 12 or 15 or whatever sa Filoil. Everyone in the pool can play for the team,” said Reyes.
Aside from Rivero, also included in the Gilas pool are Robert Bolick, CJ Perez, Juan Gomez de Liano, Paul Desiderio, J-Jay Alejandro, Kenneth Tuffin, Jeo Ambohot, Joshua Sinclair, Arvin Tolentino, and Javee Mocon.
Kobe Paras is part of the Gilas pool but it is still not clear whether the son of PBA legend Benjie Paras will be suiting up for the pool, which will be coached by Jong Uichico.
Paras, who recently left Cal State Northridge to turn pro, also expressed his approval for the Gilas pool's participation in the Filoil preseason tournament.
"I'm all for this," Paras tweeted.