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Ricci Rivero finds lost confidence despite loss to Ateneo

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ricci Rivero finds lost confidence despite loss to Ateneo Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 80 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 80 Ricci Rivero DLSU Men's Basketball

It could have been Ricci Rivero’s perfect redemption story

Keen followers of the De La Salle University Green Archers may have noticed that ever since they had absorbed an upset against the UP Fighting Maroons two weeks ago, where they allowed Paul Desiderio to score 30 points, his primary defender Ricci Rivero saw limited playing time and came from the bench in their next two games.

But Sunday night, against arch-rivals Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, the younger Rivero made sure to finally earn his team’s trust again.

“For me, sobrang important [ng game na ito] kasi yun nga kakabalik ko lang,” said the La Salle sophomore. “Kaka-earn ko lang ng trust ni Coach [Aldin Ayo] na binigay niya sa akin, ayaw ko lang sayangin especially Ateneo-La Salle so kahit bigyan niya ako ng two or three seconds lang basta Ateneo-La Salle talaga.

“Actually every game naman dapat ganoon, na-e-enhance lang siya pag Ateneo-La Salle.”

In his 31 playing minutes, the athletic swingman did everything on both ends, finishing baskets with his breathtaking, balletic drives and providing defensive stops.

Unfortunately, though, his personal bounce-back performance did not translate to a win.

“Actually yun nga sabi ni Coach [Aldin Ayo], we really had a great game tapos the game was ours na dapat pero nagkamali pero that’s no one’s fault naman, it’s as a team talaga,” shared the 6-foot-1, who finished the game with 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a clutch block.

“We started bad lang talaga so kailangan namin ma-learn and ma-savor yung moment ng pagkatalo, and siguro it’s a process naman so I think and I wish we are gonna learn from this.”

With 9.1 seconds left, the Green Archers had the game in their hands with a one-point lead, 75-74, plus ball possession. However, they struggled with the inbound, and Ateneo’s Matt Nieto got a steal and a foul, rewarding him two free throws. Eventually, Ateneo got the lead, 76-75.

La Salle drew up a play to gain back the lead, but Kib Montalbo failed to put up a decent shot.

In the end, La Salle lost their initial grasp of the game and bowed to their rivals, 76-75.

“Nine seconds palang nung nag timeout, lumapit na ako. Sabi ko dun sa team na relax lang, let’s wait for the buzzer, kasi di pa ‘to tapos,” recalled the younger of the two Rivero brothers in the team. “Though bola namin pero yun nga, nothing is impossible so na-turnover and ayun they made the free throw.”

Despite a tough loss, the 19-year-old, with his solid outing, went home feeling somehow fulfilled.

“I think na earn ko naman na [uli yung trust]. [Pero] process nga, so training uli, start from training and siguro kailangan lang na hindi mag-stop,” Rivero expressed.

Trust redeemed and confidence regained.

BY: Danine Cruz

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