It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

No regrets for Ricci Rivero on joining UP over Coach Aldin Ayo

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It was one hell of a season for Ricci Rivero.

He may not have matched his Season 80 outing that earned him a Mythical Five spot this year, but he sure learned a lot from his first year with the Fighting Maroons.

“I gave everything, I learned to adjust especially on a team that is full of stars. For me, I focused on defense, though I have lapses because honestly I’m not good at playing lockdown defender,” the 21-year old said.

“But, I embraced my role a lot kasi I know this gonna help me not just as a basketball player, but as player. Adjusting and thinking about the bigger picture not just for myself.”

Rivero made waves two years ago when he took his talent to Diliman after he left La Salle two seasons ago.

However, the athletic swingman admitted that he almost joined former Green Archers head coach Aldin Ayo to UST.

“Actually, the first thing that went into my mind after the Lasallian management that I’m transferring is that I’ll go with Coach Aldin,” he admitted.

“Because I won’t be who I am today without Coach Aldin, as in I owe him half of everything I’m showing.”

Still, he wanted to “trust the process” and joined the fully-loaded Fighting Maroons.

Unfortunately, UP suffered a 65-68 heartbreak over UST which allowed the latter to set a date with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Finals.

Despite failing to return the Finals, Rivero has no regrets choosing UP since he had a good relationship with head coach Bo Perasol.

“But yeah, no regrets, and I also learned a lot from Coach Bo. He is really a great person, as in wala ka nang hihilingin pang iba,” he shared.

Nonetheless, Rivero will definitely cherish Season 82 with the Maroons.

“We’ve been through a lot, not just me, but the whole season and off season with my teammates. We went through so much going into the season. We weren’t able to end up doon sa season na we wanted it to be, but then, we’re thankful for this season.”