Rivero happy for good friend Paraiso’s return after La Salle fallout
MANILA, Philippines – Ricci Rivero was a man of few words after his UP Fighting Maroons suffered a 69-85 loss against the streaking UST Growling Tigers.
After the star guard went 3-of-15 from the field in his debut against FEU, he failed to shake off the rust and plummeted to a 1-of-10 clip for 4 points against UST.
However, Rivero found the time to comment on his good friend Brent Paraiso, whom he faced for the first time in the UAAP after controversies led to their departure from La Salle two years ago.
“I’m really happy for Brent and I’m happy that we’re back [playing in the UAAP] together,” he said after the game.
Rivero also noted that they were just all business during the game and did not speak much to each other. Focused on the win, Paraiso actually outscored his friend with 6 points on a 2-of-8 shooting.
“I've been playing with him since grade school, so basically I know how he plays,” Paraiso said. “We just matched up. The game comes first.”
Once key cogs of the Green Archers, both Rivero and Paraiso were part of the Ben Mbala-led championship team that ousted the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 79 finals.
The pair then returned the next season for one last trip back to the finals before departing La Salle after their drug-related controversy burst through the headlines. Both denied the allegations.
Paraiso then decided to join head coach Aldin Ayo’s trip to UST as Rivero eventually headed to Katipunan with UP.
Now dealing with his first loss in a Maroons jersey, Rivero brushed off chemistry issues and said that he doesn’t need to adjust his game.
“We can’t think of it as if we lost because we didn’t have Kobe [Paras] or whomever else,” he said. “We can’t really dwell on that.”
Meanwhile, Paraiso is just living in paradise with Ayo as UST got off to a good start this season.
“I've been fitting really great under coach’s system since La Salle. The system is just the same here.” – Rappler.com