UP win vs La Salle twice as sweet for Rob Ricafort as TRO paves way for winning debut in UAAP
Rob Ricafort overcame first-game jitters to help fire up a motivated UP squad even more. Dante Peralta

ROB Ricafort had no words to describe how happy he was to be able to finally play for University of the Philippines in UAAP Season 80 on Saturday, thanks to a legal intervention.

The 24-year-old Ricafort played for 11 minutes and finished with two points and one assists in UP's 98-87 win over La Salle.

He played after a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was issued by the courts on Monday on the UAAP decision to declare Ricafort ineligible in Season 80.

"I was so happy. I don't even have the right word to give you. I'm just happy to be given that TRO for 20 days," said Ricafort.

Ricafort admitted having mixed feelings for the game, especially after getting a lot of support from the UP community.

"Initially, I kinda felt it," said Ricafort, referring to feeling the pressure for the game. "But i just wanted to focus on the game."

"Two hours before the game, I started listening to gospel music, stuff like that, to calm me down. I listened to normal music that I listened to kinda level the hype for me," said Ricafort.

When he stepped on the court, Ricafort said he was confident to contribute, which he did when he scored a basket before the second quarter ended that gave UP a 47-43 halftime advantage.

"I just want to bring the energy. I just want to motivate everybody especially when we were going down and I stepped on the court. I told everybody that we still got this and we have to keep going. I also felt lucky that when I was on the floor, Paul (Desiderio) started to shoot the lights out," said Ricafort.

Ricafort is also happy that the first game jitters is now over and he can focus on the rest of the season.

"That jitter is gone for the next coming games. We beat La Salle and La Salle is the number one team. That says a lot of our team," Ricafort said.

Now that he can play this season, at least for 20 days after the TRO lapsed, Ricafort vowed to give his all for the Maroons family.

"I'm just going to play my heart out, support my team because these guys are like family to me," said Ricafort.

Ricafort is also confident the games he played and will play this season will not be forfeited.

"Actually, they said that they don't think that's possible," said Ricafort.


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