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Tiebreaker Times


Despite slide to 17, Ricci remains grateful to be reunited with Jamike

Ricci Rivero saw his prayer answered after being selected by Phoenix Super LPG in the PBA Season 48 Rookie Draft on Sunday night.

That’s because he is bound for a team in which he has an inkling of its scheme, thanks to his familiarity with Coach Jamike Jarin.

“I’m just really excited and happy kasi, at least, may idea ako kung ano ‘yung gusto ni Coach Jamike kasi nagsama na kami before,” said the 25-year-old during the proceedings at the Ayala Malls Market! Market! in Taguig.

Rivero had already played for Jarin for Batang Gilas in the 2013 SEABA U16 Championship, where the team won the gold through a four-game sweep.

It’s worth mentioning as well that two more from that batch were picked in Sunday’s draft aside from Rivero. Jolo Mendoza was selected in the third round by Meralco, while Renzo Navarro was picked in the fifth round by NLEX.

A decade later, Rivero and Jarin would reunite in the professional ranks, something that excites the two-time UAAP gold medalist a lot.

“Ready lang ako kung anuman ‘yung gusto nilang i-ask kung anumang kailangan kong gawin para makatulong sa team,” he said.

The opportunity ahead means so much more for Rivero than sliding down to the 17th pick after being projected as a first-round talent.

“Nagdasal lang naman ako bago magsimula ang Draft, sabi ko kahit saan man ako mapupunta, for sure iyon ang gusto Niya,” he said.

“Mataas man ‘yan o hindi, basta sa team na mas makakatulong ako, at okay ‘yung team sa makukuha nila mula sa akin,” he added.

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Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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