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UAAP: Ricci Rivero pledges donation to UP Ikot drivers


Ricci Rivero UP

UP Fighting Maroons guard Ricci Rivero. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines guard Ricci Rivero has pledged to donate P250 for every basket he scores in UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament to UP Ikot Drivers Association.

In the 23-year-old’s on-court comeback and final season, he and his management, Virtual Playground, launched “RR25 Buckets of Hope” campaign to give back to the UP Ikot drivers, whose livelihood was affected by the pandemic, by donating P250 for every point in all his games.

“When the pandemic affected the face-to-face classes and public transport, our UP Ikot drivers suffered a big loss in their earnings. And they have families to support,” said Rivero in a statement.

“That’s why I decided to offer my final playing year to the UP Ikot drivers by helping them out. I am with the Ikot drivers in making a big comeback in our journey to serve UP.”

The 23-year-old, together with his family, had donated goods to the drivers over the past months.

Virtual Playground also pledged to match the donations made by Rivero for every game to also encourage him to play his best every game.

“When we learned about Ricci’s plan, I immediately said we wanted to also contribute,” said Charlie Dy, Rivero’s agent. “So we’re pledging to match the total amount of Ricci’s full-season performance. It’s our way to also give back to the UP Community as well as encourage Ricci to perform his best in his final year.”

The 6-foot-1 guard, who was part of La Salle’s 2016 UAAP championship run, transferred to UP in 2018 and made his debut as a Fighting Maroon in UAAP Season 82 three years ago. UP, however, blew a twice-to-beat advantage as the No.2 seed, losing to University of Santo Tomas in the stepladder semifinals.

Rivero and the Maroons begin their Season 84 campaign against the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles on Saturday, 4 pm, at Mall of Asia Arena.

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