Less touches? Not a problem for Ricci Rivero
Ricci Rivero is all about the process — and it doesn’t just reflect on his jersey number.
For the past nine games that UP played, the 6-foot-1 Rivero only averaged 5.9 points per contest — unlike his previous per game averages of 12.9 points in Season 80.
However, the athletic swingman knew that he was not going to make a huge impact in the scoring department to begin with.
“Actually, ever since the season started I haven’t been thinking about what I can help through the points. Everyone knows naman that the lineup of UP now is really deep. Everyone can really shoot, create shots for themselves and for our teammates,” Rivero said after UP’s 78-84 loss against UST on Wednesday at Mall Of Asia Arena.
On the other end, Rivero is expected to do more of the dirty work and smart plays at the same time.
“I’m just really thinking of how I can be able to help the team, especially on defense kasi that’s what we are lacking right now.”
That does not mean that the Gilas standout isn’t capable of producing on the offensive side anymore.
In UP’s last two games, Rivero averaged 11.0 points and it seems that he has slowly picked up his steam.
Nonetheless, the 21-year old knows that the other five from UP’s “Super Six” will do all their respective works in putting the ball on the basket.
“I don’t really get to think of my points na because Kobe, Bright, Jun, Juan, and Javi is there so everyone is their to provide in offense,” he explained.
Despite sitting at the second spot with a 6-5 standing, UP has yet to secure a Final Four berth considering the tight contests and race that the team is currently experiencing.
Which is why Rivero will have to bank on his leadership skills.
“I just have to be more vocal pa, not just me, especially the whole team. Doon talaga kami nag-lack especially sa endgames kaya nahahabol kami every time na lamang kami,” he ended.