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    Ricci Rivero tells UP Maroons not to get ahead of themselves

    May 8, 2022
    Ricci Rivero of UP Maroons
    PHOTO: UAAP

    FOR University of the Philippines to win it all, the Fighting Maroons must keep their eyes on the ball.

    "It has to come from us, to really want it more, more than the other team for us to be able to get the win," said Ricci Rivero after the Maroons' 81-74 overtime win over Ateneo on Sunday in Game One of the UAAP Season 84 finals.

    The Fighting Maroons defied all expectations in the best-of-three championship series against the fourpeat-seeking Blue Eagles, with Rivero leading the Diliman side with his 19 points, four steals, two assists, and two blocks.

    [See UP Maroons a win away from first UAAP title in 36 years]

    The win moved UP a win away from ending a 36-year title drought in its first year under coach Goldwin Monteverde.

    But Rivero isn't thinking about any of that, saying he'd rather look at Game Two as a must-win for the Fighting Maroons as they remain wary of falling into the traps of complacency despite the 1-0 series lead.

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    "I don't wanna think about if we're up by one game or not, or whether we're up during the game or we're down," he said. "It doesn't really give us the confidence, like legit confidence na, 'Ok we're up by one, we're gonna win this.' It's not really gonna matter."

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    Rivero should know.

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      Being the only one with championship experience in this youthful UP side, he understands that it's important for the team to stay in the moment.

      "For me, minsan nagiging hindrance pa siya doon sa gagawin namin na dapat," he said. "Mas gusto kong isipin na 0-0 ulit kami after this for us to be able to have that good and right mindset coming to Game Two."

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      PHOTO: UAAP
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