MANILA, Philippines – Ricci Rivero had yet another night to forget in his tumultuous year with the UP Fighting Maroons.
In the dying minutes of the UST Growling Tigerss’ 89-69 blowout win that force a do-or-die against the Maroons, the former La Salle star injured his shooting hand after punching the Araneta Coliseum’s LED board on the sidelines.
This is me to my laptop screen.— Olive Cawiding (@theolivetheorem) November 10, 2019
Jusko ramdam ko frustration ni Ricci
sabing easyhan lang eh 🙁 pic.twitter.com/3AJc1AkoQu— cm (@jordiIocks) November 10, 2019
The 21-year-old was a man of few words after the loss and downplayed the punching incident as an “accident.”
“Accidents happen. I’m fine. Nothing serious,” he said. “We just have to want it more.”
Rivero finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals on a 6-of-16 shooting as UP lost its third straight game against UST.
The 6-foot-1 guard punched the LED board out of frustration after a missed putback jam at the 3:56 mark of the 4th quarter that would have inched UP within 7, 70-63.
He was subbed out 30 seconds later and only returned in the last two minutes when the game was well within out of reach. It was the Maroons’ third straight loss to the Tigers this season.
Whether Rivero returns for Game 2 versus UST on Wednesday, November 13, in perfect shape remains to be seen, but nevertheless, he remains positive about UP’s chances of returning to the finals versus Ateneo.
“What happened in the first and second round, I think they outworked us,” he said. “[On Wednesday], we’re gonna give it our all.” – Rappler.com