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Guiao says Rivero Gilas Elites-ready

Ricci Rivero scored one over Zaid Abbas. Nikki Collantes
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Coach Yeng Guiao thinks Gilas Cadet Ricci Rivero is ready to play for the national team in the first team level despite only playing for a few minutes in the second quarter on Monday night in Gilas' friendly tune-up against Jordan at the Meralco Gym.

Rivero was named to the Gilas Elites lineup that played the Jordanians and even got playing time.

"Although he’s just playing in college. He can play at this level," Guiao said about the incoming University of the Philippines transfer student after the game.

Rivero tallied four points, the highlight of which is his trademark scoop shot against the outstretched arms of Jordanian veteran Zaid Abbas.

Guiao, however, believes that Rivero still had some more arsenal in his sleeves to be unleashed should he get more minutes.

“He could’ve performed better, and I felt he was fouled in a few situations where he could’ve contributed a little bit more. But he’s proven that he can play at this level,” the Gilas mentor continued.

With the Gilas Elites consisting of some of the best Philippine Basketball Association players, one can deduce that Guiao is implying that Rivero can be PBA-ready this early.

On whether Rivero will suit up again in the rematch on Wednesday night remains up in the air especially that Guiao is likely to bring in the Ginebra players in the national pool and Stanley Pringle for the said game.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno