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UP’s Ricafort delighted to realize UAAP dream

By Jerome Lagunzad

Journeyman Rob Ricafort finally realized a long cherished dream of playing in the UAAP by way of University of the Philippines.

And he, together with his fellow Fighting Maroons and their faithful, doesn’t mind if UP’s stunning 98-87 stunner over defending champion La Salle over the weekend might face forfeiture over his eligibility.

“Honestly, I don’t even have the right words to say. I’m just really happy,” said the lefty Ricafort who was fielded late in the first half and even scored two points on his debut after securing a 20-day temporary restraining order from Manila Regional Trial Court against UAAP’s initial decision over his age technicality.

The entry of Ricafort, 24, who initially tried out for powerhouse La Salle and University of Santo Tomas, certainly provided an added inspiration for UP and even coach Bo Perasol sounded confident the Fil-Am wingman will continue to see action.

“‘Yung mga bagay na ‘yan (legal issues) sinigurado ko sa mga abogado na taga-UP. Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Bahala kayo.’

Basta kami, nanalo. Kung ma-forfeit… Sayang nga, pero I’m sure they know where they are coming from,” he said.

UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag had earlier warned UP about a possible forfeiture if Ricafort’s TRO will be junked.

But that’s the least of Ricafort’s concerns, at least for now.

“I was just really excited, I’m trying to compose myself and contribute as much as I could individually. That was a very exciting moment for me,” he said.