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Ricci Rivero played Game 2 with heavy heart

It’s hard to play with a heavy heart. But with the De La Salle University Green Archers’ backs against the wall, Ricci Rivero and Brent Paraiso had to gut it out.

On the eve of Game Two of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Finals, David, a close friend of Rivero and Paraiso, passed away. David suffered from brain aneurysm.

“Si Brent, yung brother niyang si Brendan, best friend si David. Sobrang close nila, parang ako and Brent. Nakita ko lang si Brendan na sobrang tulala kasi na-coma si David. Then, he passed away last night,” shared Rivero, who had #ForDavid written on his shirt.

“Kinausap ko si Brendan, sabi ko, kelangan niyang ma-ovecome yung negativities sa sarili niya and sabi ko, I’ll offer this game for David.”

UAAP-80-Mens-Basketball-Awarding-Ricci-Rivero-0987 Ricci Rivero played Game 2 with heavy heart Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports newsGame Two however started on the wrong foot for the 18-year-old. Rivero, who was named to the All-UAAP team earlier in the day, was slapped with his fourth personal foul with 3:28 still remaining in the first half.

As he went to the La Salle bench, Rivero wept. He was frustrated that he might have cost his team’s chance to extend the series. Moreover, he wanted to make David proud.

His older brother Prince though gave him a perfect piece of advice: cry it out and let your game to the rest.UAAP-80-DLSU-vs.-ADMU-G2-Ricci-Rivero-1227 Ricci Rivero played Game 2 with heavy heart Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Sabi kasi ni kuya, kung may nafi-feel ka na hatred or what, ilabas mo na lang by crying,” said Rivero.

“Ilabas mo na lang lahat ngayon kasi mamayang second half, sa iyo na.”

Come the second half, the 6-foot-1 swingman played like a man possessed. Playing loose, Rivero scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, helping the Green Archers send the series to a winner-take-all bout, 92-83.

#ReadMore  UST Growling Tigers survive FEU Tamaraws surge, advance to semis

After the game, Rivero shared that it was as if God was willing him to do it. Maybe there was an angel that was helping him glide on the court as well.

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