It was only just a matter of time.
Two weeks after blasting team management for its decision to part ways with the top overall pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, lead playmaker LA Revilla has been placed on the trading block.
In a tweet dated October 27 that has since been deleted, Revilla took a swipe at KIA’s decision to trade the pick which turned out to be Fil-German Christian Standhardinger for three SMB benchwarmers plus a future pick.
“Kung magpapalusot man lang sana ginandahan niyo na ang rason. Hindi talaga eh. Bagsak kayo sigurado kung may lie detector. 💩”
What prompted Revilla to fire off the controversial tweet was KIA team manager Joe Lipa’s rationale for trading the top pick. Lipa stressed that the team’s new philosophy is centered on playing “unconventional” basketball. The former UAAP and PBA coach added that they are after players who can shoot the long ball, something which is not the strong suit of Standhardinger, hence the decision to trade the rights to pick the Gilas sensation.
The logic apparently did not sit well with KIA’s veteran point guard who time and again helplessly watched as management either traded or released key players like Aldrech Ramos, KG Canaleta, Bradwyn Guinto, Paolo Taha and Mike DiGregorio to the detriment of the team. Not surprisingly, the player merry-go-round has resulted in the team’s fall from being a playoff contender in 2016 to whipping boys and cellar-dweller in 2017.
Team governor Bobby Rosales admitted that they were offended by Revilla’s tweet and said that the former La Salle guard could’ve simply talked to them about his grievances.
“We’re actually disappointed about it. From the very start he’s been the face of KIA. And it was KIA which gave him a break,” said Rosales.
Revilla was drafted 24th overall by GlobalPort in 2013 but wasn’t given a spot on the team. KIA signed him up in 2014 and it was there where his career stared to blossom. His exceptional performance earned him a spot in the 24-man Gilas Pilipinas training pool for the 2017 SEABA and FIBA Asia Cup.
Revilla, who still has two years left on his contract, is not practicing with the team anymore and Rosales said that KIA is currently awaiting offers from other teams interested in securing his services.