AFTER Ricci Rivero’s roller-coaster ride in 2018, the basketball star remains hopeful about 2019.
As a way to start the new year, Rivero—who trended the past year on social media for the right and wrong reasons—is sorry for his errors.
“I apologize for my mistakes as I continue to be a work in progress,” he says. “I am not perfect, and I will never be perfect, but I will always try my best to be a good example to others, be better, and learn from all of these.”
Rivero made headlines in February 2018 when he left La Salle’s basketball team, where he was a vital cog, to honor his active endorsement contracts. Soon after, headlines hounded him. Talk surfaced about how he was using prohibited drugs, and by April, he had officially announced his exit from La Salle and his transfer to the University of the Philippines.
But, there is no putting a good man down. Rivero has been called to try out for the Gilas cadets in preparation for the 2023 World Cup, and he became part of the national team at the World Cup FIBA 3x3 U23 in China.
The 21-year-old’s endorsements are nothing to scoff at either. They number five so far, and they include a car brand, a mobile phone, a telecom company, and a mobile app. His very first TV commercial for a sports drink aired in 2018, and he became an ambassador for a range of products: a sports apparel, a mineral water company, a potato snack, a ballpen, and a skin-care clinic.
Despite these commercial successes, Rivero still managed to get himself into hot water, after a video surfaced online showing him shouting at a fan who had asked for a selfie.
Then, like the roller-coaster ride that his 2018 was proving to be, Rivero’s year ended on a high note. He starred in his first movie—OTLUM, an entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival.
Moreover, Twitter Philippines named him the Most Tweeted and Most Talked-About Filipino Athlete, thus giving him that title two years in a row.
Rivero himself knows that he still has a lot to improve on, but he is also aware that, to actually reach his goals, he has to look back with a grateful heart.
“I just trusted Him all the way, He knows the best for me,” he says. “Thank you very much to God and to everyone who has been part of this journey.”