Ricci Rivero positive Gilas cadets stint will help in transfer to new school
MANILA, Philippines – Less than two weeks from parting ways with the De La Salle University, Ricci Rivero is putting his utmost attention to the Gilas cadet program.
Rivero, who announced his exit from the Green Archers last April 5, said he is relishing the chance of being under the national team.
After all, being part of Gilas is what keeps Rivero going following a whirlwind offseason that included rumors of him using drugs and accepting money from gay benefactors.
"Who doesn’t want to play for the national team? And it will help me also prepare for the future and if ever I’m going to transfer to a different school, it will help me a lot to grow myself as a player and as a person going to that university," said Rivero.
As a member of the Gilas 23 for 2023 cadets, Rivero will be playing competitive basketball for the first time in a long while in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup, where the young national team will compete with all of the UAAP and NCAA schools in the country starting on April 21.
The tournament would also keep Rivero busy as he had hoped to lead the Green Archers back to the Promise Land in the UAAP prior to his departure.
"Sobrang hirap [ng pinagdaanan ko] kasi 'yun nga, I’m really looking forward to getting the championship back for La Salle kasi La Salle will always be my second home," said Rivero.
(I had a tough time because I was really looking forward to getting the championship back for La Salle because La Salle will always be my second home.)
"Hindi ako talaga nakapag-focus sa basketball after that kasi I can’t play for any teams kasi may sanctions about or something like that sa UAAP. Syempre nakakalaro ako with my brothers lang, with my friends and then after that, wala na."
(I had a hard time focusing on basketball because after my exit, I can't play with any teams because there is a sanction in the UAAP or something like that. Of course, I play with my brothers and friends but other than that, there is nothing.)
Rivero has universities in mind to transfer to but said he does not want to commit yet as he wants to focus on Gilas.
"As of now, okay naman ako to any universities pero looking forward to seeing a university which is 'yung magfi-fit ako sa system," said the former UAAP champion.
(As of now, I'm okay with any university but I'm looking forward to seeing a university which has a system I can fit in.)
"Kasi kahit gusto ko dito sa school na ito, if hindi naman ako magfi-fit sa system, if mayroon na silang players na 'yung nasa position ko, parang hindi rin magma-matter."
(Even if I want this school, if I am not a fit in their system, if they already have players in my position, I think my desire to transfer there does not matter.)
If he ever gets to choose a school to play for in the UAAP, Rivero would have to skip the next season because of the one-year residency rule.
He hinted that he will decide which team he will play for in a few months.
"Siguro by August mayroon na."
(Probaby by August, I have already chosen a team.) – Rappler.com