Basketball star Ricci Rivero directly spoke about his split with actress Andrea Brillantes for the first time, saying they "took a break from each other" amid problems—though stressed it was never about a third party in the relationship.
In a guest appearance over Fast Talk with Boy Abunda, Ricci said he and Andrea agreed to take a break from their relationship in April before eventually calling it quits on the first week of May.
"Marami na rin po kaming sinusubukang ayusin na problema," he said. "Personally, hindi naman siya sa may mali, kasi ganito or may kasalanan or whatsoever. Siguro doon lang sa the way we are sa isa't isa."
He said it was their mutual decision to be mum about their breakup.
"It's a breakup, mabigat na iyong nararamdaman namin pareho, why add?" the athlete said. "Siguro naman, hindi naman kami naging madamot sa mga fans. Sana maintindihan lang din ng fans na it's not an easy way for us to share to people na ganoon iyong nangyari sa amin."
He also denied rumors of him cheating on Andrea, in light of viral photos showing a woman in his residence. Andrea reportedly went to Ricci's place and saw the woman in question there.
Ricci explained that the woman was a companion of his friend, who was about to arrive later in the day.
"Ilang beses naman po namin pinag-usapan ito, as in sobrang daming beses na sinabi ko sa kaniya with all the evidence I have," he said.
"May papunta akong friend ng midnight tapos hindi ko naman alam na may kasama siya tapos iyon iyong naabutan niya (Andrea) that time," he added, noting Andrea believed him and they're still ok afterward.
"Even after that, nag-uusap pa rin kami, nagkikita pa rin kami, maayos kami. Iyong usual us, walang away, walang taasan ng boses."
Ricci also cleared the name of beauty queen turned politician Leren Bautista, who had also been accused of being a third party in his relationship with Brillantes.
While social media was abuzz with breakup rumors last May, Ricci was seen in the Instagram Story and post of Leren, a municipal councilor in Los Baños in Laguna, as they celebrated his birthday by distributing food packs to constituents.
"Wala pong kinalaman si Councilor Leren," he said, adding that since he's a college freshman, he does outreach programs every year.
Ricci addressed the rumors last June, saying he owns up to the "mistake" of not making his relationship status public. He didn't explicitly mention Andrea or their assumed breakup at the time.
Ricci and Andrea became official on April 9 last year, when he asked for her hand in court after the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons won against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
They went viral last March with Andrea's “promposal” to Ricci during BLACKPINK's concert at the Philippine Arena.