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    Sun, Sep 25
    Ricci Rivero declines to comment on whether the ban on Jack Santiago was fair.

    RICCI Rivero is hopeful that the incident involving coach Jack Santiago is just a momentary lapse of judgment as he still holds the University of the East mentor in high regard.

    "Coach Jack and I, together with [assistant] coach Jamike [Jarin], are friends and I have so much respect for them. I just hope he’s not serious when he said that," the University of the Philippines guard said in a statement.

    Santiago was handed a two-game suspension for instructing the Red Warriors to "harm" Rivero in UP's 81-66 win over UE last Saturday.

    Rivero had 14 points on 3-of-7 clip from downtown, to go with three rebounds and three steals to carry the Fighting Maroons to their third straight win.

    Jack Santiago

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    A three-game ban was recommended but coach Jack Santiago was handed a two-game suspension.


      Rivero leaves the judgment to commissioner Tonichi Pujante and declined to comment on whether the ban was fair.

      "I will leave the decision to the Commissioner and the UAAP Board. I trust that they know what’s best for us athletes and the league," he said.

      Rivero is hoping the parties and the league as a whole would learn that violence has no place in the sport.

      "Basketball taught me to be a good sportsman. Winning is more prized when you play it clean," he stated, while also looking to put this chapter behind him.

      "I don’t think it will affect me because I believe that intentionally hurting someone will not help you win. I will just focus on our goal this season and leave it all to God to watch over me," he ended.

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      Ricci Rivero declines to comment on whether the ban on Jack Santiago was fair.
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