Aldin Ayo welcomes Ricci Rivero move, says UP transfer good for the league
MANILA, Philippines – Ricci Rivero's decision to join the University of the Philippines may have surprised many, but one person wasn't exactly shocked.
Aldin Ayo, La Salle's former coach in La Salle, said he expected the move and even thought it would be good for the UAAP men's basketball competition.
"Ricci going to UP, actually di na ako na-surprise eh," said Ayo, who also moved from La Salle to the University of Santo Tomas a few months ago. "Actually sila talaga yung sa tingin kong pupuntahan ni Ricci."
(With Ricci going to UP, actually I was no longer surprised. I thought that's where Ricci would actually go.)
Ayo mentored Rivero for two years in La Salle, which resulted to a UAAP championship on their rookie year with the Green Archers in Season 79.
But even if the two are now going their separate ways in different schools, Ayo welcomed his former ward’s switch as a league-balancing move.
"I think it's good for the league," he said. "Maganda rin naman doon [sa UP]. At least, di ba? Sana magkaroon nang pantay na talents."
(It's nice there in UP. At least, right? Hopefully, there will be parity regarding talents.)
"I'm happy for him. I'm happy for his family," he concluded. "I wish him luck."
The 6-foot-1 high-flying guard made the leap – literally and statistically – towards a UAAP Most Improved Player Award and Mythical Five selection last year.
After norming 5.5 points in his rookie year, Rivero’s averages exploded to 14.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals after becoming a regular fixture of Ayo's patented “Mayhem” system.
Rivero committed to join the Maroons on Friday, May 18, and made the announcement himself with a tweet: “When you’re down, there’s nowhere to go but UP!”
After months of drama fueled by dark drug-use rumors, his sudden departure from La Salle and the subsequent speculations on where he’ll lace his sneakers up next, the 19-year-old Rivero can at least settle down, serve residency and prepare for the next step in a long career left for him. – Rappler.com