In an Instagram post on Oct. 21, the basketball player posted photos of Leren along with a heartfelt letter for her in the caption.
"To the girl who I see as a real QUEEN. With all the wrongs hounding me, I’m blessed to have found the right one. Allow me to shield you from things you don’t deserve," he began.
"Hindi tayo magtatago dahil walang dapat ikahiya. Walang nang-agaw at walang inagaw. Walang bibitaw dahil masaya tayong magkahawak kamay," he continued.
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The newly drafted Phoenix Fuel Master and two-time UAAP champ emphasized how "blessed" he is to find the right one for him amid all the criticisms he and Leren are facing following his breakup with actress Andrea Brillantes.
"I love seeing how you genuinely continue to help and care for people every day despite others trying to ruin your reputation. Rest assured I will be with you in inspiring people to always be better. Thank you for being so selfless and simple."
Ricci concluded his post by saying that he would "never again live a life manipulated by someone’s fantasy."
"This is our story, hindi dapat iba ang magkwento ng storya nating dalawa!" he wrote.
The basketball player sparked dating rumors with the Los Baños councilor in June. Leren, however, denied being romantically involved with Ricci in the same month.
"We want to make it clear that these claims are entirely false and have no basis in reality," a statement posted on her office’s Facebook page on June 12 read.
While Ricci was spotted spending his birthday with Leren and distributing food packs to constituents in May, the latter’s office said it was an outreach activity, which was “not an indication of a romantic relationship between them.”
On Oct. 18, Ricci and Leren watched a game between the University of the Philippines (UP) and the De La Salle University (DLSU) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Ricci's previous relationship with Andrea started in April 2022. They confirmed their breakup in June this year.