HIGH school star Prince Rivero is hardly daunted by the thought of joining a De La Salle squad already teeming with quality big men next season, saying he welcomes the challenge.
The 6-foot-3 forward out of La Salle Greenhills confirmed on Tuesday that he has committed to joining the Green Archers, where he will be the youngest member of a deep frontline led by Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres and Jason Perkins.
Rivero, however, is confident enough to believe that he has what it takes to earn his minutes with the reigning UAAP champions.
“Since then naman po, pinaniniwalaan ko na kung ano tinatrabaho ko yun ang playing time," said the reigning NCAA juniors MVP, who averaged an impressive 23.8 points, 19.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists when the Greenies finished runner-up behind San Beda's Red Cubs last season.
"May takot din po ako, pero kung magsisikap naman po ako, wala naman po sigurong imposible,” he added.
College basketball analysts believe Rivero would have been better off moving to Ateneo, which tried to lure the Greenies forward to Katipunan to become an integral part of a new-look frontline after losing JP Erram, Frank Golla, Nico Salva, and Greg Slaughter over the past two years.
Rivero had in fact confirmed to Spin.ph that he came close to moving to Ateneo, not because of his desire for more playing time but because he wanted to be with pals Thirdy Ravena and Arvin Tolentino.
The 18-year-old cager said he still has to talk to his longtime national teammates about his decision to spurn Ateneo's offer and stay with La Salle.
Spin.ph has earlier reported that Tolentino, a star of NCAA juniors champions San Beda Red Lions, has committed to joining the Blue Eagles next season.
“Kayo nga lang po una kong nasabihan pa,” he told Spin.ph. “Siguro po tatawagan ko sila para sabihin na stay na lang ako dito.”
“Sayang nga po hindi kami magkakasama. Pero part naman po ng buhay namin na magiging magkakaribal kami sa hard court. Basta po mahalaga off the court, magkakaibigan po kami,” Rivero added.
Rivero believes he has the capability to rise to the challenge in the college game, as proven by his impressive performance in the last World 3x3 Championship where he averaged 17 points and 10.5 rebounds while going up against future NBA stars Jalil Okafor of the US, among others.
With his agility, effective outside shooting, and the ability to attack the basket, Rivero is considered by scouts as one of the few under-18 players in the country today who can make an immediate impact in the UAAP.