National men’s basketball team head coach Yeng Guiao has nothing but praise for young cager Ricci Rivero.
Although Rivero was one of the three players cut from the final roster that will participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games set to begin officially on August 18, Guiao was impressed with the skills and potential of the University of the Philippines cager.
“(Kay) Ricci, I'm really impressed. I think he can dominate college basketball with his talent, with his skills,” said Guiao, who announced the team’s Final 12 on Friday after the squad’s training at the Meralco gym.
The mentor revealed that Rivero, who helped lead De La Salle University to the UAAP throne in 2016, almost made the cut but the squad needed to open a spot for the possible inclusion of Cleveland guard, Fil-American Jordan Clarkson.
“He actually almost made it in this team. Konting-konti na lang kaya lang sabi ko nga, there has to be a slot for Jordan Clarkson in case he’s available and we’re able to comply with all the requirements,” said Guiao.
Before his announcement, Guiao talked to Rivero.
“I just told him I was impressed with what he can do,” he said.
So impressed was Guiao that he offered Rivero a chance to train with his PBA squad NLEX.
“I actually invited him to practice with Rain or Shine, baka mas ma-hone pa ang skills niya,” said Guiao of Rivero, who is serving his one-year residency with the Fighting Maroons.
“I know he’s not playing this year. I know he’s practicing and if he wants to play in a different level, the NLEX practice is open for him,” said Guiao.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.