Rich Alvarez

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Rich Alvarez
No. 21 – Kia Sorento
Position Power forward
League PBA
Personal information
Born (1980-10-30) October 30, 1980 (age 34)
Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan
Nationality Filipino
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school Nile C. Kinnick High School
College Ateneo de Manila University
PBA draft 2004 Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Shell Turbo Chargers
Pro career 2004–present
Career history
2004–2005 Shell Turbo Chargers
2005–2006 Alaska Aces
2006–2008 Red Bull Barako
2008–2009 Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants
2009–2010 Barangay Ginebra Kings
2010 Air21 Express
2010–2013 Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters
2014–present Kia Sorentos
Career highlights and awards
  • 2000 UAAP Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2000 UAAP Most Valuable Player
  • 2001 UAAP Most Valuable Player
  • 2002 PBL Mythical First Team
  • 2004-05 2-Time PBA All-Star
  • 2004-05 PBA Rookie of the Year
  • 2004-05 PBA All-Rookie Team
  • 2004-05 PBA All-Defensive Team

Richard D. Alvarez (born October 30, 1980 in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan) is a Filipino professional basketball player who plays for the Kia Sorento of the Philippine Basketball Association. He was the first overall pick of 2004 PBA Draft by the Shell Turbo Chargers.[1]

Early Life and College Career[edit]

Alvarez grew up in Tokyo, Japan where he first played for the Nile C. Kinnick High School Basketball Varsity Squad. Shortly, after finishing high school, he flew to the Philippines and attended at Ateneo de Manila University where he became a pivotal part of the Blue Eagles baskestball squad. At Ateneo, he was known for his tenacity and hustle plays. Thus, as a sophomore in 2000, he won the coveted UAAP MVP award, beating the likes of King Archer Mike Cortez, fellow Blue Eagle Enrico Villanueva and UST's Cyrus Baguio.[2]

The following year in 2001, he won his second UAAP MVP plum. However, the team still failed to win the championship as the Green Archers established their dynasty in the collegiate ranks courtesy of winning their fourth-straight UAAP championship.

Finally, in 2002, with a stellar supporting cast composed of LA Tenorio, Larry Fonacier, Wesley Gonzales and Gec Chia, he anchored the Blue Eagles to win the title against the heavily favored Green Archers, their first title since 1988.

While in the amateur ranks, he also played for several teams in the Philippine Basketball League, such as Hapee-Nenaco/FASH and Pioneer Insurance. He was also a member of the Philippine national team that competed in the 2003 SEA Games.[3]

PBA career[edit]

The Journeyman: Seven teams in six seasons[edit]

Alvarez was drafted first overall by Shell Turbo Chargers in the 2004 PBA Draft, ahead of former college rival James Yap. He played his first PBA game on the team's second game after former coach John Moran benched him in the first game. He thought that Alvarez was not yet ready to play,[4][5] but when Leo Austria took over the team's coaching duties, his game status went up and won the Rookie of the Year honors at season's end.[6] In his rookie season, he averaged 8.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in 72 games.

As the Shell franchise was about to take a leave of absence from the league, he was traded to the Alaska Aces along with Tony dela Cruz,[7] where he struggled in his only appearance with the team during the 2005-06 PBA Fiesta Conference. Prior to the start of the 2006 PBA Philippine Cup, he was traded to the Red Bull Barako in exchange for two 1st round picks, reuniting him with some of his former teammates in college.

In 2008, he was traded again, this time to Purefoods in exchange for Barako's 2011 first-round pick.[8]

The following year, he was involved into a blockbuster multi-player deal that sent him to the Ginebra Kings.[9]

In 2010, he was traded again, along with Doug Kramer, to Air21 in exchange for Yancy de Ocampo.[10]

As his contract with Air21 expired, he signed with Talk 'N Text prior to start of the 2010–11 PBA season. Initially, he was only signed to a one-conference contract.[7] However, with his valuable contributions off the bench, he stayed with the Tropang Texters until the 2012–13 PBA season. In his last year with the team, he only averaged career-low numbers of 0.4 point, 1.1 rebounds and 0.2 assist in just 20 games.

New Lease of Life at Kia[edit]

After his stint with Talk 'N Text, he found himself without a team for the entire 2013–14 season. However, when the news broke out that three franchises KIA, Blackwater, and NLEX were accepted as expansion teams in the PBA, he immediately joined the tryouts of Team Kia, and he's out to prove he can still compete.[11] His competitiveness and renewed fervor rewarded him of a spot at Kia Sorentos for the upcoming 2014–15 PBA season.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Alvarez began dating R&B singer, Kyla (real name Melanie Calumpad) in 2005. After six years of dating, he proposed in January 2011. Their wedding took place on November 28, 2011. Together, they have a son, Toby Elsiah (born May 5, 2013).[13]

References[edit]

Preceded by
La Salle's school colors Don Allado
UAAP Men's Basketball Most Valuable Player
2000
2001
Succeeded by
Ateneo's school colors Enrico Villanueva