Rob Ricafort will finally get to don jersey number 2 in maroon and white. Coach Bo Perasol confirmed that Ricafort will be playing in his first UAAP game on Saturday, September 23. He released a statement on Ikot.PH:
Rob Ricafort chose to fight for a chance, for a change. If you know his personal story, you will understand that this is no longer just about ball for him; this is about his life. Playing in the UAAP was his dream. Now it will come true.
This was all made possible byJudge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar of Branch 19 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila who issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).
Ricafort has had a rough road before finally realizing his UP dream. Before UP, he had stops in DLSU and UST. He even took a leave of absence to go through drug rehab. In 2015, he crossed paths with Coach Perasol and eventually joined the Fighting Maroons.
Ricafort has been part of all of the preparations of the team heading into the season. Season 80 would be his last chance to play in the UAAP since he will turn 25 in January 2018. Unfortunately, on September 4, Ricafort along with teammate Ibrahim Ouattara and UST’s Steve Akomo were deemed ineligible by the UAAP Board. On the day before the season started on September 9, Akomo and Outtara were allowed to play but Ricafort’s appeal was denied.
With the TRO in hand, Ricafort will now be able to play the remaining games in Season 80 of the UAAP barring any further setbacks.
Ricafort was overjoyed with the decision. He took to Instagram to share his excitement with finally getting to play in the UAAP.
I don’t even know where to begin to thank all the people that helped me and kept me up through out all this. So many emotions right now. You can count on me to play my heart out every single minute I’m on that court. To my family, to @krisponcenrile, to the UP Community, my coaches, my brothers, and to all the people showing support. This season of mine is for all y’all! Game time. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” 🆙💯🙏🏾🔒in #TYG #TGBTG #Pleru
Ricafort’s first game as a Fighting Maroon will be against the defending champions the DLSU Green Archers at 4PM.
Photo from Rob Ricafort’s Instagram account