Versatile Rivero makes La Salle a better team

PRINCE Rivero is finally getting used to multiple roles assigned to him by coach Juno Sauler of the La Salle Green Archers.

He plays wingman to inside operator and back again. Rivero said he is now able to back up big man Jason Perkins under the boards whenever needed.

“I am now focused on becoming a player at 3 and 4 position. If Jason is on the bench, I become a post player,” said Rivero.

Prince Rivero

Rivero talked about the things he’s doing for the Green Archers during a break in their practices and in their campaign in the ongoing season 78 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament.

The six-foot-three Rivero is in his second year with the Green Archers after he joined last year.

The high school standout from La Salle Greenhills was given a new role in the team because the Green Archers were not able to field big man Ben Mbala this season.

Mbala, a 6’5” Cameroonian, was found ineligible to play in season 78.

This was after he was found violating residency rules, when he played for another team in another league.

The school is still hopeful that he can play later. Mbala will remain in Team B for now.

“Nalungkot kami when we found out that he won’t be playing. Until now, he is training with us. I was more of a wingman. When we found out about Ben, that’s the time I focused on the 3-4 position,” said Rivero.

For now, the Green Archers is at no. 3 with their 3-3, win-loss record.

Last Wednesday, University of Santo Tomas, which connected on seven of 11 three-pointers in a huge third quarter run, came away a 77-61 triumph over La Salle at the Mall of Asia Arena.

In that game, Louie Vigil and Kyle Suarez led the way as the Tigers outscored the Green Archers in the third, 29-13.

It was the fifth win for UST in six outings.

Rivero, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain, managed to produce 10 points and six rebounds.

Earlier, he was able to hack out 11 points and backed up Perkins under the boards with eight rebounds.

The loss saw the two-game winning streak of the Green Archers snapped.

They are set to go against archrival Ateneo today, Sunday.

Jeron Teng drilled 13 points while Joshua Torralba scored 12 for the Green Archers.

Sauler said the Green Archers could not score while UST was able to convert their three-pointers.

“Our free throw percentage in that game is lower than their three-point percentage. It’s not possible to win if your free throw percentage is worse than your opponent’s field goal percentage,” said Sauler.

He added that it’s been a tiring pace for the team.

“It’s the fatigue coz we played UE just days ago. And that was a fast-paced game,” said Sauler.

The Green Archer coach said he expects the team to have enough rest and be in top shape when they clash with the Blue Eagles on Sunday.

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