RICCI Rivero has announced his move to the University of the Philippines Maroons, just months after parting ways with UAAP basketball powerhouse La Salle Green Archers.
“When you’re down, there’s no where to go but UP. Diliman here I come,” said Rivero on his Twitter page, breaking the ice on a move that caught college basketball off-guard.
In a statement released to the media, Rivero said that he decided to join the UP Maroons after consulting family and friends, as well as Gilas teammates who “were raving about how supportive the UP community was of the UP Maroons.”
Rivero currently plays with the Gilas Pilipinas Cadets together with three UP Maroons: team captain Paul Desiderio, former Rookie of the Year Juan Gomez De Liano, and new UP acquisition Will Gozum.
The Maroons beat the Gilas cadets in their preseason meeting last week.
“They told me that UP Maroons fans were crazy about the team and were there for them, win or lose. I saw that, too, when I played against them; sobrang ingay ng mga taga UP; di mo alam kung lamang sila ng sampu o lamang ang kalaban nila ng sampu," said Rivero.
The high-flyer said that he still wants to hone his skills in the UAAP but knew it was time to leave La Salle.
“It was time to move on and time to make a decision that will help me become the best basketball player that I can be.” said the 6-2 guard, who won one championship with La Salle but left the school after a loss to rival Ateneo in the UAAP Finals.
“Just like any student, I have dreams and goals and I am willing to work hard and do everything I can to achieve them. I am thankful that the University of the Philippines has offered me a chance to continue chasing my dreams."