Rivero already happy to be part of pool as he is set for Gilas seniors debut against Jordan

Ricci Rivero is set to make his first game as a first team member for Gilas on Monday night. Nina Carezon (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Coach Yeng Guiao bared on Wednesday night that Gilas Cadets Kai Sotto and Ricci Rivero might suit up with the Elites at the start of a two-game friendly series against Jordan on Monday night.

The said move was made to give the Ginebra and Magnolia players who are part of the national pool more time to recover from their PBA Governors' Cup semifinal series.

For the incoming University of the Philippines winger, however, even getting some playing time for the said game is already a bonus.

"Sobrang surprised ako. I'm not really looking forward to really play inside. Kahit maging part lang ako ng team, sobrang uplifting na sa akin.... Sobrang thankful ako," said Rivero two nights later during the national team practice at the Meralco Gym.

Rivero is the only cadet who was present in the Friday training session, the third of a series of practices to gear Gilas up for a two-game home stand against Kazakhstan and Iran in the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

He participated in the five-on-five drills with the present Gilas Elites, including UP assistant coach and current San Miguel star Alex Cabagnot.

Rivero later said that he will be ready in case Guiao gives him some playing time.

"If given a chance, focus pa rin ako sa defense and creating open shots for my teammates," he relayed his role for the game.

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