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Pinoy Box Break

Ricci Rivero’s Journey to the PBA: From Dreams to Draft

by | Posted on: August 15th, 2023 | No Comments |

In the world of basketball, dreams often start small and grow into something much grander. For 25-year-old Ricci Rivero, the dream of playing in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has been a lifelong pursuit, fueled by childhood idols and a deep love for the game. With a storied college career and a brief international stint under his belt, Rivero is now poised to take his talents to the next level as he prepares to enter the PBA Rookie Draft.

Rivero’s journey is one that’s intertwined with his family, his passion for basketball, and his unyielding desire to succeed. Born and raised in Isabela, he grew up watching PBA games with wide-eyed wonder, idolizing legendary players like Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra. “We were really thrilled every time we came to the Metro and watched the PBA, especially when we were watching ‘The Fast and The Furious.’ I really idolized Kuya Jay and Kuya Mark” he shared during an appearance on Noli Eala’s “Power and Play” program.

After years of dedication and hard work, Rivero’s college basketball career became a canvas on which he painted moments of triumph. He played for two prestigious universities, La Salle and UP, securing championship titles for both schools in the UAAP men’s basketball league. In UAAP Season 79, he lifted the championship trophy with the DLSU Green Archers, marking the beginning of his college basketball legacy. This success was followed by another championship victory with the UP Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 84, where he played a pivotal role in ending the team’s 36-year title drought.

Rivero’s talents were not only acknowledged within the collegiate circuit but also earned him a place on the UAAP Mythical Team in 2017. His prowess as a versatile combo guard was evident on the court, capturing the attention of fans and scouts alike. His achievements, combined with his unwavering determination, have positioned him as one of the most sought-after prospects in the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

However, Rivero’s journey has not been without its challenges. After helping UP secure its championship victory in May 2022, he embarked on a new chapter by signing with the Taoyuan Pilots in Taiwan’s P.League+. Unfortunately, injuries plagued his overseas endeavor, preventing him from showcasing his skills on the international stage. “It’s really my dream to play in the PBA. I didn’t get to grab the opportunity right away as I had the chance to play in another country. But here I am, it’s always been the dream of mine growing up [to play in the PBA]” Rivero shared.

Now, as the PBA Rookie Draft approaches, Rivero’s aspirations are poised to become reality. His agent, Charlie Dy of Virtual Playground, has confirmed his intention to enter the draft for the 48th PBA season. The draft, set to take place in late September, promises to be a pivotal moment in Rivero’s career, potentially leading him to a team that values his talent and determination.

Rivero’s journey from a basketball-loving kid in Isabela to a potential PBA rookie is a testament to the power of dreams and the dedication required to achieve them. With his championship-winning background, his versatility on the court, and his unwavering passion for the game, Ricci Rivero is undoubtedly a name to watch out for in the upcoming PBA season. As he prepares to take the next step in his basketball journey, one thing remains clear: his journey is not just about the game; it’s about the pursuit of a lifelong dream that has the potential to inspire future generations of basketball enthusiasts.