Ricci Rivero delivered on his promise for the University of the Philippines’ Ikot Drivers.
The two-time UAAP men’s basketball champion raised P200,000 through his Buckets of Hope campaign.
The 23-year-old, along with his parents Paolo and Abigail, gave the funds to UP Ikot Drivers Association president Cesar Santamaria on Friday.
“When I committed to UP four years ago at nakita ko po kung gaano ako kainit tinanggap ng buong community, pinangako ko sa sarili ko na makabawi sa kanila sa kahit paanong paraan,” said Rivero, who ended his last year in the UAAP with 257 points.
“Napakarami na pong nangyari sa mga nagdaang taon, marami na din po ang naibato sa akin. But despite those mixed reactions that I faced one thing remained constant, at yun ay ang laging mangibabaw lamang ang pasasalamat sa kanilang pagmamahal.
“Isa po itong ‘Buckets of Hope’ sa aking maliit na paraan para po masuklian ang kanilang suporta. Sana po makatulong kahit paano sa kanilang mga pamilya.”
Rivero initially promised to give P250 for every point he scored. Virtual Playground Chief Executive Officer Charlie Dy then pledged to double Rivero’s donation.
College of Human Kinetic dean Kiko Diaz and Debbie Tolentino then followed suit, adding P50 each for every point Rivero scored.
The drive ended up collecting P154,200.
“When Ricci decided to take his talents to Diliman, he made a promise to try and win a championship for UP. And so despite multiple offers from international leagues last year – he stayed and remained fully committed,” said Dy.
“When he launched his Buckets of Hope, we at Virtual Playground immediately pledged our support because we wanted our younger players to take this as an inspiration to value commitment and the willingness to give back to their schools.”
Ilagan, Isabela councilor Jayve Diaz added P15,800 from his own pocket to the drive. Then Sagitarian Agri Philippines Incorporated’s Jeao Diaz chipped in another P30,000 to raise a total of P200,000.
Rivero ended up being the only student-athlete in league history to win two UAAP championships with two different universities.
As he spends his final days in UP, Rivero made sure to pay tribute to every Isko and Iska.
“Ang championship po na ito ay para sa bawat Iskolar ng Bayan na hindi bumitaw at naniwala that we don’t have no where to go but up.”