Guiao: Ricci Rivero can dominate college basketball
MANILA, Philippines – Even though he got bumped off from the 2018 Asian Games lineup, Ricci Rivero earned huge praise from national team head coach Yeng Guiao.
"I’m very impressed, I think he (Rivero) can dominate college basketball with his talent and with his skills. He actually almost made it to this team. Konting konti na lang (He came really close)," said Guiao.
According to Rivero, Guiao personally told him his postive impression and the Gilas cadet was flattered to receive a compliment from a coach well known for developing players.
"Sabi niya na: 'I'm impressed' something like that. Actually for me, as a college player [tapos] sabihan ka ni coach Yeng Guiao ng ganoon, [it feels great]," said Rivero.
(He told me: 'I'm impressed' something like that. It actually feels great for a college player to receive a compliment like that from coach Yeng Guiao.)
The University of the Philippines standout did not forget to thank the fiery NLEX coach for the opportunity to train at a high level with PBA players in the national pool.
"Sobrang thankful din ako na nabigyan ako ng chance to participate in this kind of training, [to be part of] this kind of pool. Sobrang taas ng level na ‘to," added Rivero.
(I'm so thankful that I was given the chance to participate in this kind of training, to be part of this kind of pool. The level is so high here.)
The Green Archer-turned-Fighting Maroon was committed to the national team from the moment he got named to the original TNT-reinforced Asian Games pool. The 20-year-old consistently attended practices as Guiao kept him in the 14-man pool after SBP backtracked on its decision to withdraw from the Asiad.
As Rivero serves his UAAP residency following his transfer from La Salle to UP, Guiao extended an invite for the young player to train with his PBA team, the NLEX Road Warriors.
"I know he’s not playing this year, but I know he’s practicing, but if he wants to practice at a different level, NLEX practice is open to him," said Guiao.
On Friday night, August 10, Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson took the last spot in Guiao's 12-man Asian Games lineup. The head coach said he would take a risk on the Cleveland Cavaliers guard, who's hoping to secure clearance from the NBA before the Philippines opens it campaign versus Kazakhstan on Thursday, August 16. – Rappler.com