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Ricci Rivero signs with P.League+’s Taoyuan Pilots

Ricci Rivero will be taking his talents to Taoyuan.

But it won’t be with T1’s Leopards as he signed with P.League+’s Pilots.

Yes, the 6-foot-1 shooting guard out of Ilagan, Isabela will be making history, becoming the first Filipino to play as a world import in Taiwan.

Rivero had a lot of offers on the table after the UAAP Season 84 season coming from teams from the T1 and B.League. But for the 24-year-old University of the Philippines product, the Pilots were the ones who believed in him the most.

“I simply gave so much value to persistence. Taoyuan was around since the decision to go pro came into the picture,” said Rivero, who averaged 13.52 points per game for the Fighting Maroons during his final year, with the help of his agency Virtual Playground.

“They remained consistent on appreciating my value as a player and how they’re putting their trust in Filipinos. I also wanted to challenge myself in all aspects of being the first Filipino to play in P.League+.”

It also did help that Rivero is actually a household name in Taiwan.

Back in 2017, he was part of the La Salle team that swept the Buddha’s Light International Association Cup. Rivero was named the Most Excellent Player of the tournament.

20423892_1244259552369462_9037449579179457155_o.jpg?_nc_cat=104&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=9267fe&_nc_eui2=AeHx0FWEuam7hM6Az44Q08oUdVoFhjTHbst1WgWGNMduyz9U8B3HBacWT5IISp0bRkQ&_nc_ohc=CRtfmAHmcmIAX8SBkCG&_nc_ht=scontent.fmnl4-1 Ricci Rivero signs with P.League+'s Taoyuan Pilots Basketball News  - philippine sports news

(C) DLSU Sports

And he can’t wait to be back there in four months’ time.

“Happy to be back there this October and hopefully I don’t disappoint them.

“There’s nothing that I can promise right now, but just to remain at my 100-percent best to help my team and deliver what is expected of me. I won’t be playing for my personal limelight in Taiwan – I’d rather want to see the entire team gracing the headlines,” he continued.

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Being a world import, there will be high expectations on Rivero, especially with the Pilots coming off a 7-22 campaign last year.

Rivero knows this, saying that he embraces the pressure of helping lead Taoyuan to its first-ever finals appearance in the three-year-old league.UAAP-84-MBB-ADMU-vs.-UP-Finals-G3-Ricci-Rivero-4300 Ricci Rivero signs with P.League+'s Taoyuan Pilots Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“I don’t want to entertain pressure, but I wanted to treat it as a positive opportunity and a blessing to be the first Asian to be a World Import of the league — a very important reminder to stay focused and committed.”

Rivero’s deal will run for the duration of the 2022-23 season.

Though hoping to have a long overseas career, the UAAP’s only two-time men’s basketball champion with two different universities looks to take it one game at a time.Gilas-vs.-Lebanon-Ricci-Rivero-5388 Ricci Rivero signs with P.League+'s Taoyuan Pilots Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“I want to take it one step at a time. Let’s see how I cope up with everything that comes with it first,” he said.

“No promises, but I’ll just work hard.”

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