Ricci Rivero plays down Kobe Paras tweet calling for separate local, foreign MVPs in UAAP, NCAA
Ricci Rivero saw nothing wrong with Kobe Paras expressing his opinion even as the issue irked his La Salle teammate and Season 80 MVP Ben Mbala. Jerome Ascano

RICCI Rivero had nothing but respect for the opinion of Kobe Paras about having separate awards for local and foreign players in the UAAP and the NCAA in light of Ben Mbala’s back-to-back MVP nods.

The 19-year-old Rivero said he didn’t see anything wrong with Paras speaking his mind, even as the son of PBA legend Benjie tweeting that not having separate awards for local and foreign players is unfair for homegrown cagers.

“Okay naman ‘yun. Kung ano man sabihin ng tao, insights nila ‘yun. If ite-take mo siya in a negative thing, parang darating talaga sayo na negative. Magagalit ka lang. Stress lang ‘yan,” said Rivero, who teamed up with his fellow La Salle Greenhills standout Paras in the national youth team in 2015 during the Fiba Asia Under-18 Championship.

”Siguro, ‘yun lang naman naisip niya. Nag-share lang naman siya,” he added.

Paras’ tweet has sparked a debate online, with netizens having mixed reactions to the issue. Mbala has even come forward and said in an interview that it is also unfair on the part of the foreign players if the awards were separated from the locals.

“Don’t look for excuses like divide it in local and foreign. It’s pretty unfair. That’s now how it was supposed to be,” said the UAAP Season 80 MVP.

The high-flying Rivero, one of the most popular college players in the country today, also called for fans to stop the bickering on social media on the issue.

“Parang share some love na lang, not hate, kasi sobrang dami talaga,” said Rivero. 

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