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Ricci Rivero almost studied and played in the US twice

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Tiebreaker Times Ricci Rivero almost studied and played in the US twice Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Ricci Rivero DLSU Men's Basketball

Coming out of high school — and even after leaving La Salle, Ricci Rivero was sought after by numerous local universities.

But little does everyone know that the high-flying 6-foot-2 guard out of LSGH almost went to study and play abroad — twice!

In an interview with the Athletes’ Tribune podcast by The Daily Tribune Saturday, Rivero bared that after graduating high school, he had enrolled in a high school in the US to continue his studies and try his luck there.

“First kasi, before going to La Salle, nag-enroll pa ko sa States for senior and junior high school. After nito nung nag-high school ako dito,” he shared.

Rivero then had a change of heart after a long talk with then-incoming La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo.

It also helped that he was a true Green Archer at heart.

“I decided to go to La Salle kasi galing ako sa La Salle high school. Also naglalaro din si Kuya dun. Nung nakausap ko rin si Coach Aldin, sobrang ganda rin talaga ng plano niya. Na-challenge ako and stay here and play for La Salle,” he continued.

“Willing ako maglaro for Coach Aldin nun.”

The next two years were nothing but magical for Rivero.

During his rookie year, the Green Archers had a dominant run en route to the UAAP Season 79 crown. A year later, Rivero would take home the Most Improved Player award.

Tiebreaker Times Ricci Rivero almost studied and played in the US twice Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Ricci Rivero DLSU Men's Basketball

However, just two months after Season 80, Ricci, his brother Prince, and good friend Brent Paraiso decided to leave La Salle.

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The native of Ilagan, Isabela would again ponder — was this the right time to go to the States?

“Nung nag-decide kami to leave La Salle, nag-isip kami to go back to the States. Gusto ko to look for the bigger picture din.”

One friend he consulted with on the matter was long-time pal Kobe Paras. And one of the things they talked about was playing together again.

Fast forward to May of 2018, the two made their decision: they would go to University of the Philippines together.

Tiebreaker Times Ricci Rivero almost studied and played in the US twice Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Ricci Rivero DLSU Men's Basketball

“Nung nakausap ko si Kobe nun, we came up with a decision to go to UP and play together.

“I think ‘yun ‘yung naging big factor kaya nagpunta ako ng UP. Teammate ko rin siya ng high school eh. Naging close kami ni Kobe nun dahil ka-carpool ko siya nung high school,” he said.

Safe to say, Rivero has no regrets.

“UP talaga yung na-feel ko na sobrang maging at home ako at ‘yun ‘yung na-feel ko sa kanila.”

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