During the first-ever practice of the 23 for 2023 Gilas cadets pool, Ricci Rivero — who was not part of the list — watched on the sidelines of the Meralco Gym.
The 6-foot-2 wingman, who averaged 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.33 assists during the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball tournament, was sought after by the SBP, including its chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan.
However, with the De La Salle University Green Archers in the midst of a rebuilding, the school begged off having all its student-athletes taking part in this exercise.
“They’ve really been in touch since the list came out. We had to explain the situation with the school and they asked if they can try out, but it has to be something we talk about with their school,” shared Gilas head coach Chot Reyes about Rivero’s situation.
The 19-year-old swingman was once again present on Monday evening, together with his parents. Besides watching on the bleachers, the 6-foot-1 swingman was also part of the post-session huddle of the team that featured more than 30 players from the seniors teams, the 23 for 2023 cadets, and foreign guest players.
Reyes revealed that Rivero has already received clearance to join the cadets.
“He came to tell us that he’s been allowed.
“But we haven’t gotten any official word yet from La Salle, we’re just waiting. That’s why he came here,” Reyes shared.
Next week’s practice will answer if the two camps have reached a compromise regarding one of Philippine basketball’s bright young stars.