RICCI Rivero is still with La Salle.
That's what the high-flying winger insisted when he showed up for Gilas Pilipinas' practice on Monday night at the Meralco Gym as an active participant.
"As of now 'yun talaga, I still attend classes every day," the Green Archers star said. "Nag-ask lang kami ng leave of absence sa training."
Last Friday, La Salle confirmed that Rivero as well as brother Prince and pal Brent Paraiso have been dropped from the Green Archers' roster due to conflicts arising from their endorsement deals.
The controversial cager shot down rumors that he will transfer to another school.
"Wala pa namang ganung issue. As of now, yun pa rin. Nag-ask lang kami ng leave of absence. I'm still enrolled and I'm still going to class everyday," he reiterated.
La Salle's new policy prohibiting players from signing endorsement deals, Rivero said, prompted him to ask for a leave of absence.
"Kasi doon sa new policy nga ng La Salle na bawal yung endorsements and all, eh even before that pa, I signed na yung mga contracts. So 'yung side ko siguro parang mahirap naman na nag yes na ko and all, tapos biglang di ko na lang siya gagawin," he said.
"Yung ganun. So I asked sila coach if pwede, sabi nila okay lang naman mag-leave na lang muna para matapos kasi nakakahiya rin doon sa ibang brands."
While on leave, the 19-year-old swingman said he plans to join training of other teams, but not necessarily to try out.
"Wala pa, basta ito lang muna and then ... siguro training muna ako sa ibang teams na pwede ako makatulong or may pwede akong laruan, ganun," Rivero said.
"Like siguro yung mga normal na ibang malaruan lang and all, pero not necessarily try out for other teams," he added.