PRINCE Rivero hopes to make a splash in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League with the Mandaluyong El Tigre as he eyes a possible stint in the PBA in the near future.
In earlier interviews, Rivero didn’t discount the possibility of suiting up for another college team after unceremoniously leaving La Salle alongside brother Ricci and their good friend Brent Paraiso.
Now, it’s starting to get clearer that the 6-foot-4 forward is already looking at the big leagues and he hopes to make enough splash for El Tigre in order to reach that.
“I’m trying to play in a different league. I’m trying to move on from college and hopefully I’ll be able to play sa pro after here,” said Rivero.
“Sana maka-help ang MPBL for me in my transition from college to pro,” he added.
Rivero had his best year with La Salle during his sophomore days in Season 79 where he averaged 11.1 points on 55.3 percent shooting and 8.2 rebounds. But his role diminished upon the arrival of Ben Mbala, stalling his progression to being one of the best inside operators in the UAAP.
Now Rivero is treating this stint in the MPBL as a new lease on life in basketball, especially with the growing talent pool and competition that he’s going to face in the 26-team league.
“I’m thankful and blessed na I’m part of this team. Not everyone can play sa team sa MPBL, to be given a chance. It’s a blessing,” Rivero said.
The challenge for him now is familiarity with his teammates, and he won’t have the luxury of time to develop that with Mandaluyong – or any MPBL team for that matter.
Unlike in college where players spend years of training and competition together, Rivero is already getting a taste of what it’s like to be called a “pro” as he’s had to adjust to his teammates despite a relatively short time in practice.
He’s just hoping to make the most out of this new experience and with the people that he’ll be working with in this foray.
“In college you’re gonna be playing with players you’ve been with for the long time. Here some of them come and go,” said Rivero.
“Sana may matutunan ako from them, and from me na makakatulong sa career namin.”