By Jerome Lagunzad
Add University of the Philippines to the growing list of teams bidding to get the services of promising guard Ricci Rivero.
“We’re really interested to have him,” said UP coach Bo Perasol in a phone interview with Tempo-Bulletin yesterday.
“Basta willing siya na maging part ng program, sino ba naman ang aayaw sa talent na ganun? Again, we already expressed our interest if he can consider our program.”
After formally bidding goodbye to powerhouse La Salle last week, the 6-foot-1 Rivero is taking some time in choosing his next destination, with the likes of reigning titlist Ateneo and University of Santo Tomas, now handled by former Green Archers coach Aldin Ayo, emerging as top prospects.
Even Adamson, which has gained several solid recruits since five-time UAAP champion coach Franz Pumaren took over two years ago, and perennial NCAA contender Letran, now backed by beer giant San Miguel Corp., have reportedly joined the sweepstakes.
The Fighting Maroons, however, have suddenly cropped up as an intriguing choice for Rivero, 19, who apparently joined UP’s recent training sessions at least twice according to a reliable source of Tempo-Bulletin.
Perasol, however, vehemently denied such development. “Hindi totoo ‘yun. Malalaman niyo naman ‘yun pero hindi pa talaga nag-i-ensayo. I’m sure lalabas naman sa lahat ‘yun kung nagpa-practice na siya sa amin,” he said.
What is certain, according to Perasol is the fact that UP has already reached out to the Rivero patriarch, Paolo. But everything remains up in the air so far.