PBA: Ricci Rivero says familiarity with coach Jamike Jarin will help at Phoenix

PBA Rookie Draft second round Ricci Rivero of Phoenix Fuel Masters.

PBA Rookie Draft second round Ricci Rivero of Phoenix Fuel Masters. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Familiarity will be of big help for Ricci Rivero as he begins his new chapter in the PBA with the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

Rivero, a University of the Philippines product, was drafted in the second round of the 2023 PBA Draft as the fifth pick, going after Raffy Verano who also landed with the Fuel Masters.

With Jamike Jarin calling the shots for him heading forward, Rivero said he has some awareness of what the coach will expect of him heading forward.

“At some point, I’m aware of what coach Jamike wants me to do which will make things easier and I’m excited,” said Rivero in Filipino at Market! Market! on Sunday. “Whatever they want out of me, I can give it to them.”

Rivero and Jarin are no strangers to each other, having matched up up aplenty in the UAAP.

During his rookie year with La Salle, Rivero was mentored by Aldin Ayo in the Green Archers gainst National University, which was then steered by Jarin.

In the forward’s final year with the University of the Philippines, Rivero also helped the Fighting Maroons trounce University of the East a couple of times, which had Jarin as an assistant coach.

Rivero also said that excited to play his former teammates at the professional level.

“I’m more excited now to see my previous teammates because I’ve been talking with them for quite some time and we’re excited to see each other and play,”

“Now, we won’t be teammates but I’m still excited.”

One of Rivero’s cohorts in Diliman who was also picked in this year’s draft is Zavier Lucero.

Lucero was the fifth overall pick of the selection, chosen by Northport. He is currently in California rehabing his right ACL tear.

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