Coming off a win against rivals, Ateneo de Manila University, and with adrenaline still pumping through his veins, the Smart Elite ambassador was more than ecstatic that he and the Green Archers are entering the second round with a positive (4-3) slate.
“First of all may pressure but like in everything we do, we prepared for Ateneo,” the Smart Elite ambassador opened. “Siguro na-swerte lang kami na we got through Ateneo to end the first round. Entering the second round, it’s a very big thing for the team.”
During the rivalry game last October 4, the 6’3 undersized forward started against the tall Ateneo frontline of Fonso Gotladera and GBoy Babilonia. The quickness of the Ateneo wings and the brute of their opponent’s frontline proved to be too much for the sophomore in the first quarter resulting to him being assessed with two fouls with two minutes left in the opening salvo. “We had a hard time but, as I always say, whoever want it more may big plus factor yun for them,” he reflected about that stretch.
Rivero fought through that obstacle as he was able to tally a huge double-double, ten points and ten rebounds. However, it was his intensity that helped spark the huge 25-15 third quarter rally that brought La Salle back-to-life. For Rivero, the energy he brings helps his teammates especially on the defensive end for the undersized Taft cagers. Rivero helped his team to outrebound the Blue Eagles, 48-44. Moreover, the Archers had 15 second chance points while allowing just seven on the other end. “Personally for me I just play my heart out. That’s what I do everyday. I put the fire up for the team. Kahit papaano nahahawa sila [his team] and we really played good defense.”
Throughout the season, the minutes Rivero has been playing has been erratic. He has played a high of 26 minutes this season and a low of ten minutes. But for him, he puts faith and trust to his coaches whether he start or not. “It actually depends on the scouting report of the coaches kasi e. Whether I start or not, I’m always ready. If coach is not gonna play me I’m okay with it, if he’s not I’m okay with it as well,” Rivero confided with Tiebreaker Times.
Finally, in going to the second round, he is promising the La Salle faithful that the team will work harder compared to the first round. “In the second half, we’re going to play our asses off every game and play La Salle basketball!” he closed.